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Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year

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Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year
Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year. wikimedia commons
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Shimla/Manali, December 30, 2017: Tens of thousands of holidaymakers started gathering across resorts in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday to bid goodbye to 2017. Mellow sunshine and no snowfall will greet them at most of the tourist destinations till next week though.

The most sought-after destinations were Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Palampur, Dalhousie and Manali and the revellers have to be prepared to sleep out in cars overnight if they did not get hotel bookings in advance.

Most of the hotels have been sold out in advance, members of the hospitality industry warned.

“Our properties in Shimla, Chail, Kasauli, Dharamsala and Manali have been almost sold out for the last two days of this year.

“Overall, the response of the tourists is good,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) General Manager Vijay Sharma told IANS.

He said most of the guests have been enquiring about the possibility of snowfall on the New Year’s Eve.

Over 50,000 tourists were expected to visit the state to ring in New Year, tourism industry experts said.

The popular tourist town of Narkanda, some 65 km from Shimla, saw season’s first spell of snow in December but it melted within a few days.

Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of buildings that were once institutions of power when it was the summer capital of British India, is yet to receive any snowfall.

Shimla’s meteorological office Director Manmohan Singh said the weather would largely remain dry with long sunny days in the state till January 4.

“The prominent hill stations have not experienced snow almost a fortnight now,” Singh told IANS.

The mountain peaks viewed from Shimla’s historic Ridge, Dharamsala and Palampur towns were wrapped in a thick white blanket of snow.

Manali is a magnet for holidaymakers these days owing to plentiful snow in its nearby hills.

“Nearby hills of Manali have been attracting the tourists owing to good accumulation of snow,” a Manali-based travel agent M.C. Thakur said.

Aanchal Khurana, a tourist from Delhi, said: “I prefer to travel to Shimla, especially during these days when the plains are foggy and chilly and the hills are basking in the sun.”

Himachal Pradesh has no tourist accommodations in far-off areas. Rural home-stays that started in 2008 were driving tourists to the interiors and that were the best option to stay.

At present, 807 home-stay units have been registered in the state. Out of these, 233 were in the Kullu-Manali region. Shimla district has 211 units, followed by Kangra 111.

The state’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, besides hydroelectric power and horticulture.

The state attracted 18.45 million tourists in 2016, which is 2.7 times its population, says the state’s Economic Survey 2016-17.

According to the report, the state has 2,604 hotels with a bed capacity of 70,869 registered with the tourism department. In addition, there are 787 home-stay units with a provision of 2,137 rooms. (IANS)

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Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs

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Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs
Himachal CM launches campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs. wikimedia commons

Shimla, Jan 1, 2018: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday kicked off a cleanliness drive from the state capital under the Swachh Bharat Mission by launching a campaign to clean drinking water reservoirs.

Greeting people on New Year’s day, he said the water tank in Sanjauli town, where the campaign was launched, is the largest in the state with a storage capacity of 90 lakh litres.

He said his government is committed to total cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat Mission of the government of India.

The Chief Minister directed the Irrigation and Public Health Department to undertake a drive to clean water tanks on priority — and asked them to undertake the effort twice a year. Besides, other traditional water sources should also be cleaned regularly.

Noting that, due to the tough topography of the state, people had to often travel long distances to get water, he said: “I assure you that every kitchen and bathroom will have water taps.”

The Chief Minister announced a reduction by half of taxi fares for patients and attendants visiting the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla. The new fare will be Rs 10 per person.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahendar Singh said the cleanliness campaign would continue for 15 days.

Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, who is the legislator from Shimla, said it was unfortunate that a body of a boy was fished out from a water tank in Shimla last year and the government would now ensure that no such incident occured in the future. (IANS)

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