In view of an increasing number of tourist vehicles congesting the hill station, Nainital district administration has issued a tourist advisory, announcing that private vehicles which do not have prior reserved parking will now be stopped at specific points on the approach route to Nainital.
The original advisory had been communicated on 13 June and was re-issued again on Monday, 18 June with clarifications.
According to the notice, private vehicles, except those belonging to residents, will now be stopped at parking locations on the three entry routes to Nainital through Bhowali, Kaladhungi and Haldwani.
From those parking points, which are at least seven km away, shuttles will be operated to ferry tourists to the city. This will effectively reduce tourist traffic and prevent inconvenience to the residents as well as other tourists.
This step comes in view of a large number of tourist vehicles that have been entering Nainital, causing traffic jams in and around the town.
The notice states that this step has been taken in order to ensure that the number of tourist vehicles are in proportion to the parking capacity of the hill station. It is also a pre-emptive move before the number of tourists increase by the end of June, causing further congestion.
The notice clarified that local vehicles will not be affected by this rule.
Nainital is not the first tourist spot to issue advisories this summer. In May 2018, the popular hill station of Shimla had asked tourists to stay away for a few days while in the midst of a severe water crisis. The crisis led residents of Shimla to take to social media to explain their problems and request tourists to abstain from visiting the hill station in view of the extreme shortage of water supply.
It may come as a relief for tourists that other popular vacation spots, such as Manali and Leh, are still open for tourists without any restrictions.
Sunny Sharma, Assistant Commissioner to the Deputy Commissioner for Kullu district, told The Quint that there were no limitations of any kind for tourists in Manali. “There are no restrictions at all. Tourist vehicles can enter and even go till Rohtang Pass. It is peak season. Tourists are welcome here.”
Moses Kunzang, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Leh district, spoke to The Quint, saying that there are no concerns in visiting Leh. “There are no problems in visiting Leh, unless and until some natural disaster takes place. Otherwise, we are welcoming tourists wholeheartedly, with open arms,” he said.