Tribune News Service
Solan, December 29
Tourists are facing traffic congestion on roads leading to Kasauli, where hotels are packed to capacity ahead of New Year.
Managing the traffic is a challenging task for policemen deputed for the purpose as these narrow roads slow down the movement of vehicles considerably.
Narrow lane a major bottleneck
Negotiating the Garkhal junction is a major hassle as the narrow single lane is inadequate to handle the rush of vehicles. Jaspreet, tourist
Parwanoo DSP Yogesh Rolta said the Parwanoo-Barog highway had been divided into various sectors for effective traffic management. An additional reserve force has been deputed to handle traffic at the Garkhal junction, where five roads converge, as well as on other roads leading to Kasauli in view of the high rush of tourists.
Traffic policemen faced an onslaught of tourists stuck at the Garkhal junction. “Negotiating this junction is a major hassle as the narrow single lane is inadequate to handle the influx of vehicles. This is the biggest dissuading factor for visiting Kasauli which otherwise is a much sought-after hill station,” quipped Jaspreet, a tourist from Patiala who often visits Kasauli.
Despite the phenomenal growth of tourism in the Kasauli Planning Area, comprising Kasauli and its precincts, the key Dharampur-Kasauli road has not been widened in the past several decades.
A large number of hotels have come up along this road while several luxury resorts are operating on roads that branch off from this main road. The hoteliers are buoyed with the rush though traffic blues and poor roads emerged as their key concerns after visitors complained.
Rocky Chimney, vice-president, Kasauli Residents and Welfare Association, says, “The Kimmughat-Sari road, which houses several luxury hotels, has not been repaired for many years.”
A majority of the hotels are packed to capacity as Kasauli is among the preferred destinations of the state. Despite communicating persistently with officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) and even complaining through the Chief Minister’s helpline, hoteliers have failed to get the road repaired.
There is a ray of hope as a preliminary project report for the laying of a flyover bypassing the Garkhal junction is being prepared by the PWD staff. Though it will take years for the project to be implemented, it will foster some confidence in hoteliers who are back in business after facing uncertainty due to the two waves of Covid-19.
This flyover will also ease local residents, who are exposed to high levels of noise pollution due to frequent honking of vehicles.