Tribune News Service
Mandi, December 28
To manage traffic on the Manali-Leh highway between Manali and Sissu has become a daunting task for the police as tourist influx has increased in the region with the New Year being just around the corner. Yesterday, over 5,000 vehicles moved to and fro via the Atal tunnel, which forced the police authorities at Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti to chalk out a plan to manage traffic.
Drunken and rash driving and illegal parking are major concerns, which are causing long traffic jams in the region. Tourists are being stuck in long traffic jams on the Manali-Leh highway between Manali and the north portal of the Atal tunnel.
Tourists complained about poor traffic management and inadequate road infrastructure to handle the rush. Amid Covid-19, the tourist influx in Kullu-Manali has become a cause of concern for the police. Till New Year, it is expected that the number of tourist vehicles plying to Manali may increase up to 10,000 daily, which may cause long traffic jams in the region. Locals and hoteliers in the district have urged the police to chalk out a strategy to control the traffic.
Gaurav Singh, SP, Kullu, said more than 50 drivers were challaned for overtaking yesterday. Similarly, 15 persons had been arrested for obstructing traffic in the tunnel and for Covid rules violations. He said in the wake of New Year, it was expected that tourist influx to Kullu-Manali would increase.
“Therefore, we have chalked out a proper plan to manage the traffic. The deployment of police personnel has been increased at key places like Manali, Manikaran and near the Atal tunnel,” he added.