Shimla sinking road clogs traffic in holiday season

News, Views

Traffic diverted via Shimla club
Traffic diverted via Shimla club

If you are planning a holiday this Christmas and New Year’s eve in Shimla Himachal Pradesh think again.

The main road in the heart of the hill station has caved in disrupting traffic for almost two weeks.

There are worries if the road isn’t restored in the next few days traffic could be paralysed frustrating tourists and ruining their holiday.

Shimla sees the arrival of record holiday makers every time in the last week of December mainly in the hope of snowfall which often eludes them.

But the biggest worry for the authorities this time is the collapse of a section of the main road popularly called the cart road which circles the town carrying the burden of almost the entire traffic in town.

Thousands of vehicles enter Shimla in the last week ofmthe year putting huge pressure on the narrow winding roads carved out in the steep mountain terrain.

Added to this is the huge shortage of parking space which further clogs the roads. And the most crowded is the cart road built during the colonial British era.

For the past two weeks only one way traffic is allowed on this road near high court and the rest is diverted into bylanes causing traffic jams and delays.

Even though officials say the road could be repaired soon for traffic from both sides.

But realistically there are no guarantees as construction of a building near the high court is triggering slides on a regular basis for the past two years.

Builders say the steep hill side is loose debris along with underground water leakage which causes the regular sinking at this point.

When construction work started here one of the oldest hotels in Shimla the Oberoi Clarkes located above the road was threatened.

In panic the over a century old heritage property shifted guests and shut down its doors to guests for several months fearing collapse.