Advertisement
Monday, Sep 27, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Himachal Pradesh: Tourist Arrivals Drop To 35% After Centre's Warning

Himachal Pradesh Police on Sunday announced the deployment of additional force from six armed police battalions to handle crowds in tourist locations.

Himachal Pradesh: Tourist Arrivals Drop To 35% After Centre's Warning
Tourists in Himachal Pradesh | Image for representation | PTI
Himachal Pradesh: Tourist Arrivals Drop To 35% After Centre's Warning
outlookindia.com
2021-07-11T11:03:28+05:30

Centre’s stern warning to hill states over serious Covid violations by crowds at tourists destinations seems to have worked with a 30 to 35 per cent drop in the tourist arrivals in Himachal Pradesh this weekend.

The hoteliers in Manali, however, have protested over media reports for inappropriately projecting hill stations as being crowded, asserting that the occupancy has already seen a sudden drop. Tourists planning their trips are frightened to visit Kullu-Manali, they told Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, Ashutosh Garg on Saturday.

In Shimla also the occupancy this week has dropped by 30 per cent. A similar drop was observed in Dharamshala and McLeodgan where the hotels and resorts had earlier reported 95 to 100 occupancy last week. 

Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu on Sunday has announced the deployment of additional force from six armed police battalions including a women battalion in the districts of Shimla, Kangra, Kullu, Solan, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba, apart from making special man-power management at Rohtang Tunnel –one of the most visited places in Himachal Pradesh.

The step has been taken following concerns shown by the centre on hill stations having been crowded and Covid appropriate norms including social distancing and wearing of masks not being followed, said Kundu.

The deployment of additional force and senior officers at all tourist destinations was made for the next two months to enforce Covid guidelines and also take action against the defaulters.

The police have recovered more than Rs 5 crores as a fine from the tourists violating the Covid norms and now directions have been issued to SPs to send the violators to jail for eight days for willful defiance of the Covid rules.

Kundu said that although the State welcomes the tourists, at the same time, the State Government was also ensuring that no tourist would be allowed to flout SOPs issued by the State government regarding Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. He also directed the district administration to keep watch on tourists not following Covid-appropriate behaviour and take action against the defaulters. He urged the tourists to use face masks and hand sanitisers besides strictly following the SOPs issued by the State government.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday told all DCs and SPs to identify the places where the crowd was committing maximum violations and take immediate steps to decongest them and also initiate action against the erring tourists.

“Since Covid cases are declining at a steady pace, the number of tourists coming to the state has increased manifold. We welcome them but we expect them to adopt Covid-19 appropriate behaviour” Thakur said.

The CM also said that main tourist destinations such as Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, etc. were attracting large numbers of tourists. He said that the hoteliers, travel agents and owners of the homestay must also motivate the tourists staying in their establishments to maintain Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

It is learnt that the Prime Minister‘s office has also asked the Chief Minister not to lower the guards in view of large scale concerns raised about risks due to massive crowd gathering at the tourist places, and not adhering to the protocols like wearing proper masks or following social distancing.

The centre had even threatened to reimpose restrictions if the states failed to take steps to enforce SoPs framed for the tourism industry.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

There Is A Method To The Madness In Opposition’s Demand For A Caste Census

There Is A Method To The Madness In Opposition’s Demand For A Caste Census

Non-BJP parties hoping to stall the massive shift of OBCs towards the Hindutva brigade. But there are gains too for the BJP if it plays its cards well.

Bharat Bandh: 18 Trains Cancelled As Farmers' Agitation Brings Traffic To Halt In Haryana, Punjab

Bharat Bandh: 18 Trains Cancelled As Farmers' Agitation Brings Traffic To Halt In Haryana, Punjab

Punjab and Haryana state highways are closed, High Courts in both states have put a stay on the physical hearings, bus services have come to a standstill.

‘Sports NFTs Are A Movement, Not Just A Meme’

‘Sports NFTs Are A Movement, Not Just A Meme’

The sports NFT market is brand new with tremendous potential and is growing fast, says Sidarttha Bezbora.

In Kashmir, Each One A Kabul Expert

In Kashmir, Each One A Kabul Expert

Long before the fall of Kabul on August 15 and before the news channels became keen on its unfolding, Kashmiris have been keeping eye on Afghanistan.

Advertisement