Kalka-Shimla road landslide raises tourism revival concerns | Travel

ANI | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz, Shimla (himachal Pradesh) [india]

The tourism industry in Shimla faces a devastating blow as the Kalka-Shimla four-lane National Highway 5 in Solan district got washed away in a landslide. Hopes were high for a tourism revival but this disaster has raised concerns about the future of businesses in the state capital.

The spot where the landslide occurred on the Kalka-Shimla highway on Wednesday morning. Kalka-Shimla road landslide raises tourism revival concerns (HT_PRINT)
The spot where the landslide occurred on the Kalka-Shimla highway on Wednesday morning. Kalka-Shimla road landslide raises tourism revival concerns (HT_PRINT)

Mohinder Seth, President Himachal Pradesh Tourism Stakeholders Association said that after recovering from the recent rain and floods, hopes were high for tourist visits in September and October. However, with the road damage, tourists have halted their trips due to fear of flash floods and landslides.

“After the rain and floods things were getting normal and we were hopeful that tourists will visit here as Shimla is safe and on the top of the hills. But today the information has come that the road has been washed away between Shimla-Kalka and it is very unfortunate and worrying for us. We were hopeful for September and October bookings but those are also getting canceled. We want the government to restore the roads on war footing and assure tourists’ safety. Otherwise we shall lose all our business hopes,” said Mohinder Seth.

The local shopkeepers, Dhabas, and restaurant owners are equally affected, relying mainly on local residents as tourists visiting here occupy only 1 or 2 per cent of hotel occupancy. The local business units are worried for the future business.

“It has a double impact on our business. The situation of roads and landslides are worse here. Also in plain areas, the floods are hitting the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. If the roads will not get repaired, it will completely ruin our business. We shall have to take care of employees even if we don’t have any business to do. We shall have to see how long we can survive,” said a local restaurant owner.

Tourists have stopped visiting the hill station due to the fear of flash floods and landslides. The mountains are sliding and hampering the transportation system in the region. The tourists are coming here only to complete their important work at different offices.

“The conditions are no good neither in Haryana nor here, here the roads are in bad conditions and the mountains are sliding. We don’t want to risk the lives of our families. Because of this situation, no tourists are coming here. I had to come for important work to renew my passport. The roads are sliding and are very risky. Back home we have also lost fields, livestock and houses, it is becoming difficult,” said Gurmeet Singh, a visitor from Haryana.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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