With tourist rush Kufri faces rise in nuisance, littering, traffic woes
The district administration of Shimla has failed to discourage liquor consumption in open at tourist spots like Kufri, especially during the period between Christmas and New Year.
SHIMLA- Despite demonetization woes and cash crunch, the tourism industry of Himachal Pradesh seems to be doing well. First spell of snow on Christmas has further lured tourists to celebrate their new year in hill-stations like Shimla and Dharamsala in hope of snowfall. Snow is a gift for the hospitality industry in Himachal. Sadly, changes in climate pattern are haunting this industry and situation is likely to worsen in future.
With flocks of tourists come some side-effects due to laxity of district administration in implementation of rules and regulation relating to traffic, collection of garbage that increases at tourist spots during this time of the year, and nuisance by drunken gangs of tourists and locals. Drunk-driving and liberty to create nuisance is taken for granted in areas like Kufri.
Some local youth from a Shimla-based IT company thought of take a moment to admire the sprinkles of snowflakes on Christmas. They drove to one of the most popular tourist spots in Shimla – Kufri, as it hardly snows in the city area now. Shimla Town used to hold a great number of tourists and shared the load with Kufri. But with little or no snowfall in the city area, Kufri is taking additional load. However, district administration doesn’t seem to be interested in managing the tourist crowd.
For For these local youth, the scenes and experience at Kufri turned out to be uglier: tourists as well as locals flashing liquor or beer bottles in public, drinking in open tea stalls on roadsides, several men urinating on roadside, and traffic jams due to wrongly parked cars. The roadside drains were filled with liquor bottles and plastic wrappers
Civic bodies have taken no measures to prevent littering and nuisance in tourist season. Any officials or police were hardly seen monitoring and interfering to correct things. The police was seen only during evening.
During the tourist rush, several roadside stalls pop-up offering tea and snacks (magi and eggs) and their rates are unregulated. The liquor sellers and shopkeepers deny selling cigarettes to locals as same is sold at higher rate to tourists. Locals can argue but tourists are easier target.
It’s not the first time that district administration’s unwillingness to regulate tourism activities in Kufri. Recently, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh had also questioned the administration after a PIL was filed against incidents of violence with tourist by horse-owners.