Last Updated: December 27, 2022, 16:00 IST
With the increase in tourist footfall on Christmas and New Year, the Himachal Pradesh Police will use drones at the entry points including Shimla, Parwanoo and Pandoh for accurate estimation of the number of visitors entering the state.
The police headquarters on Sunday issued directions to the concerned Superintendents of Police (SPs) to arrange vehicle recovery cranes and place them at significant locations to remove unauthorised parking to avoid traffic congestion, an official said.
The SPs have also been directed to carry out regular checkings at hotels, guest houses and other places of stay and take special care that the tourists do not face any inconvenience, the police official said.
Along with this, the SP Cyber Crime has also been directed to take prompt action against anti-social elements who post any objectionable or misleading information on social media.
The official said for any assistance tourists can call on emergency contact helpline number 112.
Though white Christmas eluded Tourists and locals, group selfies at Historic Ridge Church were vague and a large number of tourists made a beeline to resorts in Himachal to enjoy Christmas, said Prince Kukreja, Vice President of Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association.
The tourism industry is pinning hopes on snowfall on January 1, 2023 and is bracing to cope with a massive footfall of tourists as the occupancy in hotels is expected to be over 90 per cent and a heavy rush is expected as New Year is falling on weekends, he said.
There is a possibility of light snowfall in Shimla, Manali and higher reaches on December 29 and 30, said Director Local MeT office Shimla Surender Paul.
However, hoteliers are apprehensive about the new Covid variant. With a surge in Coronavirus cases around the globe, the health department on Friday issued an advisory to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour to keep a check on the increase in cases in the near future.
As many as 1.39 crore tourists visited Himachal till November 30 this year as compared to 56.37 lakhs tourists last year, according to the tourism department data.
“We are hopeful to touch the pre-Covid tourist inflow figures by the year-end as December is the peak tourist season,” said managing director of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) Amit Kashyap.
Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has directed the tourism and other departments to facilitate the tourists and make adequate arrangements and proper traffic plans in all districts.
He also urged the tourists to follow Covid-19 protocol and wear a face mask as a precautionary measure keeping in view the increasing number of Coronavirus cases being reported in several countries.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)