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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tourist hotspots gets additional police force to enforce COVID behavior

Shimla | TNR

Waking up to the imminent threat of a third wave in view of the huge influx of gung ho tourists to various tourist hotspots of Himachal Pradesh, the state government has deputed additional police personnel to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour by all.

“Revenge tourism”

In what is being termed “revenge tourism”, thousands of tourists are making a beeline for all the hills stations in the state. The majority of tourists and local residents, doing business with them, are throwing caution to the winds while trying to make the most of the time they are getting away from their respective homes where they were cooped in for months. Weekends, particularly, are drawing huge crowds to the hill stations.

Government to take action

The government has decided to step in to take action against people not following Covid protocols while enjoying themselves in Shimla, Rohtang Pass, Kasauli, Manali, Dharamshala, McLeodganj, Dalhousie, and a host of other tourist hotspots.

Union health ministry warning

Union health ministry had issued warnings to all states which are attracting tourists due to cool climes, water or adventure sports and other kinds of fun activities. These tourist hotspots could ultimately prove to be super-spreaders of the corona virus, the ministry missive warned.

Not an easy task for police

So far it has not been an easy task for police personnel to enforce Covid protocols. There have been many instances when tourists have clashed with the police personnel when they are asked to wear masks or maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from each other. The additional police force, the government believes, would be able to tackle this menace.

DGP order on deployment

As per the order issued by Himachal’s Director General of Police, in Shimla a contingent of 6th Indian Reserve Battalion, Kolar, has been deputed. In Dharamshala Bassi-based 5th IRBN (male) has been deputed. In McLeodganj IRBN women contingent from Bassi, and IRBN, Bangarh, have been deputed. In Manali 3rd IRBN, Pandoh, has been deputed while in Kausauli the IRBN Kolar, has been deputed. In Rohtang tunnel, the IRBN, Pandoh, and in Dalhousie the IRBN Jungleberi battalions have been deputed.

CM’s appeal

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has urged tourists and residents of Himachal interacting with them to adhere to Covid protocols. The “high-spirited” tourists creating public disorder have been urged to maintain peace. 

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