Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti today, flagged off four garbage compactors for the Shimla Municipal Corporation at Chaura Maidan.
A total of 30,000 vehicles have entered Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla during the past two days, as per the data available with the city police.
The data stamp the fact that as the mercury in the plains is soaring, tourists are rushing to the hill State to enjoy their weekends. Over 30,000 vehicles have entered hill state’s capital city during the past two days and on the weekend, the police are expecting that the number will increase by 4000 to 5000.
The hotels are also running at their full capacity in the city and tourists are enchanted with the pleasant weather conditions here.
“We arrived here at around 2 am but did not get any hotels, finally we were able to explore and get a hotel by 6 am, and here tourists have rushed due to the long holidays. Hotels are full. We had to move around for 10-12 kilometres here.” said Sanjeet, a tourist from Punjab.
The tourists are coming here from Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and other parts of India.
“We arrived yesterday. I have come for the first time, Shimla is crowded, like Delhi and neighbouring states. The weather is pleasant here. We are enjoying it here. I am happy to be here. The tourists rush is somewhat troublesome as we were not able to find a hotel, after long and hard efforts we were able to find a hotel,” said Pooja, a tourist from Delhi.
Those tourists who are coming here for a longer stay are enjoying the beauty in Hill state and are exploring the Himalayan region of Kinnaur and other parts of the state.
“We arrived here on April 3, and we were able to see snow in Chitkul. I experienced fresh snowfall thrice in the hills here. It was a wonderful experience. We are leaving back today by train. I am not facing any problems here, we are happy to be here. Everything is planned and systematic.” said Disha Mondal Haldar, a tourist from West Bengal.
The tourism stakeholders are hopeful of getting a boost in business.
“This is very good for us currently as we could not do good business during the winter season owing to less snowfall. Now this inflow will be able to give us recovery. The hotels of Shimla are full and there would be few. After Monday rooms will be available. Till the weekend these are local neighbours, It has paved a way for our business to recover,” a tourism stakeholder said.
“Thousands of vehicles have entered Shimla city during the past 48 hours. The vehicular inflow, through Victory Tunnel, capacity is 20 to 27 vehicles per minute but the number has almost doubled,” said Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi, The Superintendent of Police (SP) Shimla District Police.
He said that the police have regulated the movements.
“We are trying to regulate vehicular traffic so that people do not face problems. By late evening today we are expecting 4000 to 4500 more vehicles to enter the city we are ready to deal with it,” he said.
“We were preparing for vehicular traffic management during the past two months for the tourist season. According to the traffic plan prepared by the Shimla Police, till now the system is working perfectly. So far we are working with district resources to regulate traffic, and a proposal for additional force was sent to the police headquarter. The core value of the basic plan is being worked so that the city’s heart line runs smoothly on the city roads, and traffic is being diverted, for some time to avoid tourists getting stuck in traffic jams for a long time,” Gandhi said further.
Thousands of tourists annually visit Himachal Pradesh. As per the data available from the tourism department of the State, during the year 2019, nearly 1,72,00,000 tourists including nearly 4,00,000 foreign tourists visited the state with a jump of nearly five per cent in comparison to the year 2018.
From 2021 to 2022, the arrival decreased due to the pandemic and now again it has started increasing. An economy of over 11000 crores is generated in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the tourism sector and it is considered a backbone for the economy in the state which contributes to 7.3 per cent of the state GDP.
There has been less snowfall this year during the winter season and now the weekend tourist inflow has brought hopes high for the people involved in the travel and tourism business.