With Christmas and New Year falling on a Friday, many hodophiles are making the most of a long weekend. Over 5000 tourist vehicles crossed the Atal Tunnel, a highway tunnel built under the Rohtang Pass, on Sunday (December 27). The all-weather road witnessed the biggest traffic activity since its inauguration in October 2020. While 2,650 vehicles entered the tunnel from the Lahaul side, 2,800 tourist vehicles came from the Manali side, a senior police officer told PTI.
Why Himachal Police Arrested Tourists From Delhi?
The Himachal Pradesh Police arrested 15 tourists, including seven from the national capital, on Sunday for blocking the traffic inside the Atal Tunnel, a senior police officer told the news agency. The police officers also seized two cars for obstructing the traffic.
Ten tourists from Delhi were arrested on Thursday (December 24) and their cars were impounded as they caused a traffic jam inside the tunnel. They stopped their cars inside the Atal Rohtang tunnel, played music and started dancing which led to a jam, Kullu Superintendent of Police, Gaurav Singh, said.
The tourists have been booked under sections 188 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Atal Tunnel, which is the world’s longest tunnel, has emerged as a popular tourist destination since it was made accessible for the general public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. The 9.02-km underpass connects Lahaul of Lahaul-Spiti district and Manali of Kullu district in the state.
Tourists are thronging various hill stations in Himachal Pradesh including Manali, Shimla, McLeodganj, Dalhousie and Dharmshala to celebrate the New Year.