Potholes, pollution & traffic jams greet Manali Tourists

Shimla, June 20: Poor road infrastructure is proving to be a big blow for the tourism industry in Kullu and Manali as long traffic jams coupled with bad roads are giving a nightmarish experience to tourists visiting the place. Despite adequate police force deployed to regulate traffic in Kullu-Manali during the peak tourist season, the authorities were struggling hard to cope with the situation.

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Due to the ongoing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, the tourist influx has increased manifold in Kullu-Manali, but hoteliers rued that the tourists visiting here were feeling the pinch of bad roads, which would have an adverse impact on the tourism industry.Tourists said the journey towards Kullu-Manali was no less than a nightmare because of bad roads a majority of which were too narrow to handle the rush of tourists causing long traffic jams for hours.

Ruth Maria, a tourist from Spain, said the journey to the area was quite exhausting because of poor road conditions.Nitin Jain, a tourist hailing from Maharashtra, said due to the lack of parking space, tourists faced a lot of difficulty.With the start of the four-laning work on the Kullu-Manali national highway, traffic situation has become worse. However, to handle the traffic mess, the district administration, Kullu, has diverted the traffic on the left bank side, i.e. towards Manali from Kullu.

Anup Thakur, president of the Kullu-Manali Paryatan Vikas Mandal, said poor road infrastructure did not augur well for the tourism industry in Kullu and Manali and the state government should focus on improving the situation.

Gajender Thakur of the Hoteliers Association Kullu-Manali claimed that those associated with the tourism industry here were a worried lot as the state government was paying no heed to improve the situation.“We urge the state government to provide better road and air connectivity, besides other required infrastructure to boost the tourism sector in Kullu-Manali,” he added.

Source Tribune India

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