Heavy Tourist Inflow In Manali and Shimla: Roads Blocked And Hotels Booked To Full Capacity
Roads In Manali And Shimla Choked
On June 8, long queues of traffic were witnessed on the roads leading to Shimla from Kufri and Shoghi from Dhalli tunnel, leaving tourists frustrated, reported Hindustan Times. This was seen as a consequence of the soaring mercury levels in the north and the heat wave in other parts of the country which forced the people to flee to high altitude areas.
On average, about 4,500 tourists vehicles come to Manali and 5,000 vehicles enter Shimla each day. During the peak season and weekends, these numbers increase.
Since the tourist destinations are not well equipped with proper parking facilities for such a large influx of tourists, it creates a lot of chaos in the cities too. The tourists often end up parking their vehicles on the road due to lack of parking area which creates a traffic jam. In Manali, 120 constables and home guards have been on duty to combat the traffic problem.
With so many tourists moving to these hill stations, approximately 95% high-end hotels in Shimla and 90% in Manali have been completely booked. Plenty of ATMs have also reportedly run out of cash in Manali, Kasol, Manikaran and Kullu as these could not be refilled due to bank holidays on Wednesday and Thursday.
Rising Mercury Levels
Due to the alarming heat wave intensifying across the country, Himachal Pradesh which is popularly known to have pleasant weather during these months of the year, reported a hotter Saturday than usual.
Shimla recorded a maximum of 27°C, Manali 27.8°C and Dharamshala 31.6°C respectively. While Una in Himachal Pradesh was the hottest at 43.4° C, Keylong was the coolest at four degrees.
During this time of the year, hill stations of Shimla and Manali often witness over-crowding, lack of parking spaces and overbooked hotels. But this year, with the unusual rise in temperatures, the situation has worsened.
The Nainital administration has also decided to not allow tourists inside the hill station every time the parking is full and will only allow them when traffic and parking can be managed effectively.
In 2018, Shimla faced a severe water crisis and ran out of water for eight days, with hotels putting up notices that read, “We are in water crisis, don’t come to Shimla.” Not even a drop of water was available in the homes of Shimla.