Watch: Tourists Escape Heat Wave Only to End Up in Traffic Jams

Watch: Tourists Escape Heat Wave Only to End Up in Traffic Jams

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As a heatwave grips the country's plains, it has pushed a huge number of tourist to the relatively cooler hilly regions. Tourists are flocking to the hill stations in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. However, this has led to massive traffic jams and congestion, forcing some of them to return.

The heavy influx of tourists on narrow roads in the hilly state of Uttarakhand has doubled the commute time from Haridwar to Char Dham. It is now taking almost 18 hours to reach Badrinath from Haridwar, an official in Chamoli told PTI.

Other hill stations like Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Rudraprayag, and Nainital are facing the same problem.

“We have come from Firozabad. We left Guptkashi at around noon. There is such a huge jam in Sitapur that it’s almost evening and we haven’t been able to reach Gaurikund. All of us are turning back because of the jam. We don’t even have drinking water here.”
Tourist en route to Gaurikund to ANI
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Manali to Implement One-Way Traffic

Manali administration on Wednesday announced that they have decided to implement one-way vehicular movement to control traffic jam and congestion.

“A new traffic plan has been created that includes the provision of one way traffic. Be it for city roads towards Manali town or the national highway. There will be one-way vehicular movement. For effective implementation of plan we will need cooperation of all the stakeholders. This plan will be permanently in place. It will be implemented 365 days, 24/7 so that our local residents and tourists are able to make it a habit.”
Raman Gharsangi, SDM, Manali

Overpriced Hotels Compound the Problem

After battling traffic jams and congestion on the road, those who finally made it to the hill stations were greeted by overpriced and overbooked hotels. Some tourists said that they are thinking about cutting short vacations.

“I came here (Manali) on a three-day vacation but I think I will leave after one day. There is a lot of traffic and rates of all the services are doubled or tripled. In some places, its even 10 times.”
A tourist in Manali to ANI
“The biggest problem here is traffic jam. We left for Rohtang at 2 am and could reach there only by 8-8:30 am. The traffic was unbelievable. We couldn’t arrange our food or water. The traffic congestion has troubled us a lot.”
A tourist in Manali to ANI

Large swathes of the country have been searing under markedly high temperatures for the past several days, with the mercury hovering around the 50-degree Celsius mark in many areas in north India. Delhi recorded its highest ever temperature in June on Monday when the mercury touched 48°C.

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