Shimla faces sudden footfall of tourist

In mid of the Summer season, Shimla City is facing a sudden surge in the footfalls of tourists, politicians, and a host of other activities choking all the bottlenecks by the huge convoys of SUVs and tourist cabs.

The state capital is in the last leg of Shimla Municipal Corporation hit by a huge convoy of vehicles mostly of political parties and politicians, north zones judicial officers Conference and weekend Tourist footfalls.

While the vibrant atmosphere in Shimla during the tourist season and the elections is undoubtedly exciting, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that come with it. 

A piece of news went viral on social media that in the past 12 hrs number of vehicles that entered Shimla was 17000. Indeed the hustle and bustle in Shimla city as the elections and tourist season approach may be a cause for celebration for some, but it could not be ignored that such activities also come with their own set of challenges. 

Traffic police are on their toe from morning till late evening and clearing the bottleneck at Crossing by halting traffic at MLA quarter and Vidhansabha, Victory Tunnel, and Old ISBT.

Two days North Zone Regional conference of judicial officers are being held at Peterhoff and police officers have to keep the VVIP lanes from Peterhoff up to Highcourt and victory Tunnel to police line Kaithu at high alert to facilitate the traffic.

On the week ends town normally shows increasing of 4000 to 5000 more vehicle between Kalka-Shimla which create chaos of traffic during checking-in and out time. Moreover during school and office on and off hours increasing the traffic on the small roads of Shimla usually cause major congestion and inconvenience for both locals and tourists. 

Dedication of Boileauganj to Kanedy house especially for two ways traffic for the new court complex increased the traffic problem at Vidhansabha which is a major bottleneck.

The already narrow roads and lanes become even more difficult to navigate with the influx of vehicles, causing traffic jams and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to move around the city. 

Thanks to inclement weather which gave respite from sweltering heatwave conditions in northern India which curbed the traffic to a great extent as thunderstorms and rain played spoilsport. 

On the weekends and coming summer vacation, the plain going to give the traffic police sleepless nights and the town would be choked. Furthermore, the sudden surge in the number of tourists can put a strain on the city’s resources, particularly its water supply.

 It is no secret that Shimla has been grappling with water scarcity for years now, and this problem is only exacerbated during the peak tourist season. 

The hotels and guesthouses in the city consume large quantities of water, often at the expense of the locals, who have to deal with limited water supply during the summer months. 

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and with the number of cases rising once again, it is essential that we remain cautious and vigilant.

 While the tourism industry is an important source of revenue for Shimla, it is crucial that the safety and well-being of both tourists and locals are not compromised in the process. 

The authorities must take necessary measures to ensure that tourists adhere to COVID-19 protocols and do not flout rules. This can be done by increasing the number of checks and monitoring the crowded areas in the city. 

Tourists should be encouraged to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow other safety guidelines, and non-compliance should be met with strict penalties.

As the new MC would take over office coinciding with the tourist season, it is imperative that the government takes steps. The roads and lanes must be widened to accommodate the increased traffic, and public transportation options must be improved. The city also needs better waste management systems, as the garbage generated during the tourist season can be a major problem. 

The authorities must take necessary steps to ensure that the city can handle the influx of tourists without compromising the safety and well-being of its residents.

Only then can Shimla truly realize its potential as a top tourist destination in India.

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