Hundreds of vehicles enter Himachal as govt allows tourists without negative Covid report, video goes viral

Tourists make beeline for hills to beat scorching heat

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 13

A huge influx of tourist vehicles was witnessed at the inter-state barriers in Parwanoo today, following easing of restrictions in the neighbouring states.

With mercury rising in the plains, tourists are heading for the hills to beat the summer heat. Residents of the neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, particularly, are arriving in large numbers.

Yogesh Rolta, DSP, Parwanoo

5,000 vehicles enter parwanoo

A rush of tourist vehicles has been witnessed since Friday evening with nearly 5,000 vehicles having entered through Parwanoo as against about 3,000-3,500 vehicles registered last week.

Most of the vehicles going uphills were lined up at the barrier on the national highway near Timber Trail Resorts. The other one located near Kalka on the state highway saw fewer vehicles comparatively.

Tourists entering the state are required to register themselves on the Covid e-pass software and these passes are scanned by police officials deputed at the barriers.

“An overwhelming rush of tourist vehicles has been witnessed since last evening with nearly 5,000 vehicles having entered through Parwanoo as against about 3,000-3,500 vehicles that were registered last week,” said Parwanoo DSP Yogesh Rolta. He added that additional staff had to be deputed at the barrier to scan the e-passes in view of the huge influx.

Since e-passes are scanned by the police at the barriers, a long queue of vehicles created a traffic chaos. Vehicles bound for the hills had lined up in multiple queues spread across kilometers.

The rush left traffic staff, who were scanning all passes, exhausted. Those entering the state without passes had to be manually registered, which further added to the work.

Staff at the Sanwara-based toll plaza also confirmed that about 1,500 to 2,000 more vehicles had entered the state this weekend in comparison with last week. “The vehicle influx has increased tremendously this weekend in comparison with last week as tourists are heading for the hills to beat the summer heat,” said Balwinder Singh, project in-charge, GR Infra Projects, which is four-laning this highway.

Hoteliers received a big boost with their occupancy reaching 50 to 70 per cent in the last fortnight at Kasauli. Rocky Chimni, vice-president, Kasauli Residents and Hoteliers Association, said, “Tourist influx, especially during the weekends, has gone up to 70 per cent and it will improve further as the condition of getting an RT-PCR test report for tourists has been done away with. Rates have been lowered by 20-30 per cent to lure tourists.”

Toll worth Rs 2,08,220 has been collected at Parwanoo inter-state barriers in the last 24 hours, which was much higher than last weeks’ collection, said the excise and taxation staff.

Tribune Shorts

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