Nainital declared ‘housefull’ to curb tourist inflow

Tourists making way to Nainital will now have to make arrangements in advance to park their vehicles before entering the hill station. According to latest news reports, the popular hill town of Uttarakhand has been officially declared houseful by the local police, owing to the large number of tourists overcrowding the town every day.

About 3,000 to 4,000 tourist vehicles are entering the town every day, and the numbers go further up during the weekend when tourists from neighbouring states like UP and Delhi visit the town. Reportedly, Nainital has 12 vehicle parking lots with a capacity to fit in 2,000 four wheelers as a whole. However, the situation has now gone out of hand. Finding it hard to control the heavy vehicular movement, the local police, in order to discourage tourists from entering the town with their vehicles, have put up banners which read “Nainital Housefull” in Hindi.

The Inspector-in-charge of traffic police, Mahesh Chandra, told the press that the police have put “houseful” banners on the roads leading to Nainital such as Nariman Crossing, Kathgodham Police Chowki Crossing, Bhimtal Crossing and others.

“One can gauge the traffic stress in Nainital from the fact that on Sunday nearly 6000 vehicles came out of the town. Nainital has limited parking lots. When they get full, we are left with no other option but to take such a measure,” a police official was quoted by a newspaper as saying.

Reportedly, this unusual step has been taken by the officials after the notice issued by the Uttarakhand High Court in April 2018 reprimanding the state government for its ability to resolve the lingering traffic issue in Nainital. Besides, the court had categorically asked the government to put up notices across newspapers discouraging tourists from bringing their own vehicles inside the town or make prior arrangements for parking beyond the boundaries of Nainital.

In 2017, reportedly, the court had directed the local civic authorities to make an app to help tourists book their parking space before arriving in Nainital. Even before that, the court had told the authorities in-charge to seal the hotels, guest houses, and homestays that fail to offer parking lots to their visitors.

Given the popularity of the hill station among the tourists, the local administration is now exploring potential areas in and around the hill station that can be turned into parking lots.

Tourists throng the town to visit spots such as the Naina Devi Temple, Naini Peak, Tiffin Top, Eco Cave Garden, Himalayan Botanic Garden, Hanuman Garhi, among other places.

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