A heavy traffic jam at Himachal Pradesh’s Atal Tunnel has resulted in thousands of tourists being stuck for days, creating frustration and chaos. The Atal Tunnel, a crucial artery connecting Manali and Keylong, has become a parking lot, causing major delays for those trying to access the popular Rohtang Pass. This article explores the current situation, the impact on travelers, and the reasons behind the traffic congestion.
The Atal Tunnel: A Gateway to Rohtang Pass
The Atal Tunnel, spanning 9.2 kilometers, is the world’s highest single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet. This engineering marvel was constructed under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range, connecting the districts of Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti. It serves as a vital link for travelers heading to the popular Rohtang Pass.
Tourists Stranded in Traffic Jam
A video shared by ANI captured the plight of thousands of tourists stuck in a massive traffic jam at the Atal Tunnel and Rohtang La. Passengers found themselves stranded in their vehicles, unable to move for hours. The congestion extended for kilometers, with bumper-to-bumper traffic reported between Manali and Vashisth Chowk, Potato Ground to Rangadi, and Solang Nala to Atal Tunnel.
Traffic Bottlenecks and Congestion
The heavy rush of tourists ahead of Christmas Eve has caused significant traffic bottlenecks in the region. The route to Shimla, the state capital, has also been affected, with gridlock experienced on the highway connecting Shimla with Shoghi. The traffic situation has been exacerbated by the limited road capacity and the increasing number of vehicles traveling to Himachal Pradesh.
Increased Influx of Tourists
According to police data, an estimated 65,000 people in over 12,000 vehicles passed through the Atal Tunnel in a single day, indicating a substantial influx of visitors. The festive season and the desire to celebrate in popular destinations like Kasol and Manali have contributed to the surge in tourist numbers. The Atal Tunnel, designed to ease traffic flow, is now struggling to handle the increased volume.
Police Measures and Future Expectations
In response to the traffic chaos, authorities have implemented measures to manage the situation. The Himachal Pradesh police predict that around one lakh tourists will arrive in the state before New Year’s Eve, highlighting the need for proactive management. Officials are working on streamlining traffic flow and ensuring the safety of travelers. Additional personnel and resources have been deployed to manage the situation and maintain order.
Why are so many tourists stuck in traffic at Himachal’s Atal Tunnel?
Due to the increasing influx of tourists during the festive season, the Atal Tunnel and the surrounding area are experiencing heavy traffic congestion, resulting in prolonged delays.
How long have tourists been stranded in the traffic jam?
Tourists have been stuck in the traffic jam for several days, causing frustration and inconvenience.
What is the Atal Tunnel’s purpose?
The Atal Tunnel serves as a crucial link between Manali and Keylong, providing access to the popular Rohtang Pass and connecting the districts of Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti.
The Himachal Pradesh police have deployed additional personnel and resources to manage the traffic flow, ensure safety, and minimize congestion. Efforts are being made to streamline the movement of vehicles.
How many tourists are expected in Himachal Pradesh for New Year’s Eve?
Approximately one lakh tourists are expected to visit Himachal Pradesh before New Year’s Eve, which indicates an even higher influx of visitors and a potential strain on the transportation infrastructure.