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Business News/ News / India/  Himachal Pradesh news: Traffic congestion in Kasol, Manali, Shimla Highway ahead of Christmas Eve
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Himachal Pradesh news: Traffic congestion in Kasol, Manali, Shimla Highway ahead of Christmas Eve

Traffic congestion and slow vehicular movement were observed in Kasol and Manali as Christmas Eve nears in Himachal Pradesh.

Manali: Tourists ride an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) near the north portal of Atal Tunnel after snowfall, near Manali (PTI)Premium
Manali: Tourists ride an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) near the north portal of Atal Tunnel after snowfall, near Manali (PTI)

Himachal Pradesh news: Tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh like Kasol and Manali are witnessing massive traffic congestion as tourists flock the hill stations causing slow vehicular movement as Christmas Eve nears.

Further Atal Tunnel in Rohtang Pass received fresh snowfall on Saturday.

The Atal Tunnel, an engineering marvel in the Himalayas, is a highway tunnel constructed under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range. Located on the Leh-Manali Highway in Himachal Pradesh, India, it holds the distinction of being the longest single-tube highway tunnel situated above 10,000 feet, as per the Border Roads Organisation's official website.

On Thursday, the police in Shimla district said they were anticipating a huge rush of visitors ahead of Christmas and the year-end festivities.

Police said they were expecting over one lakh tourist vehicles to roll into the hill town in the last week of December, on the eve of Christmas and New Year.

The Mayor of Shimla City has planned the first-ever winter carnival to draw tourists to the state for the year-end festivities and frolicking while also promoting the traditions and culture of Himachal Pradesh.

Tourists have already started arriving in the hilly state in large numbers in anticipation of snowfall in the exotic locales as the year draws to a close.

Speaking to ANI, Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Shimla, said, "The police are expecting over one lakh tourist vehicles to roll into the hill town in the last week of this year."

"Police brace for myriad challenges as the seasons change in Shimla. The number of vehicles in the city has been increasing on weekends. We will serve as facilitators for the tourists, those involved in the hospitality business and other stakeholders. We will hold meetings with all the stakeholders. Roads laden with snow are also a big challenge for us in the winter. We have divided the city into five sectors, each of which will be assigned a rescue team," Gandhi added.

"There is a steady increase in tourist vehicles. There is a particular number of vehicles entering the city from the Shogi Barrier. There are usually about 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles rolling into the city every day. However, the count has now gone up to 12,000 to 13,000 ahead of the year-end festivities. We expect this number to rise further to 20,000 around Christmas and the New Year," SP Gandhi added.

"We have planned to deploy 10 platoons, which would further enable us to press 200 additional forces into action if required. The additional personnel would be deployed for both traffic management and security," Gandhi said.

The week-long winter carnival will start on Christmas Day, December 25, in the afternoon. The Shimla Municipal Corporation is hopeful of a revival of tourism businesses here. The mayor is also keen to send across a message of clean and green tourism in the hills through the carnival.

"We are planning a winter carnival for the first time in Shimla. I have been conducting meetings with stakeholders and officials over the past three days. We are ready to showcase our traditional folk dance forms and musical instruments. The chief minister will inaugurate the week-long winter carnival on December 25. We will also organise a traditional folk dance featuring 500 women," Surinder Chauhan, the mayor of Shimla, said.

(With ANI inputs)

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Published: 23 Dec 2023, 10:37 PM IST
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