In a daring attempt to escape the holiday traffic gridlock in Himachal Pradesh, a tourist driving a Mahindra Thar SUV opted for an unconventional route—across the Chandra River in Lahaul and Spiti district. The video of the river-crossing escapade quickly circulated on social media, catching the attention of local authorities.
Responding to the viral video, Himachal Pradesh Police took action against the SUV owner, issuing a challan under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Superintendent of Police Mayank Chaudhry emphasized the legal consequences of such actions, stating that personnel have been deployed to prevent future offenses in the region.
The Chandra River's shallow water level facilitated the SUV's river crossing, but the locals were not pleased with the audacious maneuver. This incident unfolded amidst a state-wide traffic nightmare caused by an influx of tourists celebrating Christmas and New Year in the picturesque hill station.
As a measure to monitor and manage the traffic situation, authorities in Lahaul and Spiti district employed drone surveillance. The footage revealed congested roads with trails of vehicles, leaving minimal space for parking facilities. To discourage reckless behavior exacerbating the traffic chaos, the police in Kullu charged a fine of ₹3,500 to an individual caught driving with open doors, hanging precariously from the vehicle.
This holiday season, Himachal Pradesh grapples with not only the natural beauty that attracts visitors but also the challenges posed by increased tourism. Local authorities are actively addressing unconventional and risky behaviours on the roads to ensure the safety and order of the festive season.
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.