Himachal officials prioritise road safety amid tourism boost plans, ET TravelWorld

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<p>Representative Image</p>
Representative Image

Coming past the effects of devastating floods, Himachal Pradesh is gearing up to amplify its tourism sector. Amidst this endeavour, the state’s officials are placing an emphasis on ensuring road safety—a crucial facet in accommodating the anticipated surge in tourist footfall.

Recognising the pivotal role of safe and efficient road infrastructure in promoting tourism, the Public Works Minister, Vikramaditya Singh, underscored the imperative of exceptional road quality and a top-tier transportation network. Emphasising the significance of pedestrians’ awareness in road safety measures, Singh highlighted the potential of awareness campaigns to play a vital role in achieving this objective.

Speaking at a seminar focused on raising awareness about road safety, organized jointly by the Public Works Department, the Institution of Engineers, and the Transport Department, Singh stressed the need for strict adherence to safety protocols during road construction. He emphasised that ensuring road quality maintenance is equally crucial, acknowledging the various hazards that exist on the roads.

He also emphasised the adoption of engineering techniques geared towards commuter safety. Stressing the importance of collaborative efforts among various departments, he urged the identification and rectification of accident-prone spots, commonly known as black spots. He directed efforts towards public awareness campaigns to highlight the significance of road safety, aiming to collectively reduce the daily occurrences of accidents and mishaps.

Over 9L tourists took Gondola ride at Gulmarg this year; figures to cross a million soon

Rising to an altitude of 14,000 feet, the Gulmarg Gondola is the flagship attraction of Kashmir tourism and Asia’s highest operating cable car. Overall, about 90 per cent of the 1.2 lakh visitors in February 2023 flocked the Gulmarg ski resort, showcasing the area’s appeal alongside other key attractions. Last year, the figures for J&K stood at 1.88 crore tourists.

Moreover, he accentuated the government’s commitment to integrating safety engineering techniques, advocating for the incorporation of modern tools and Artificial Intelligence into safety planning. He urged officers to prioritise case studies on safety measures and swiftly adopt contemporary techniques.The evolution of road infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh has been significant. From 243 kilometers of roads during the state’s formation to connecting every village, the road network now encompasses even the most remote areas, with ongoing efforts to further link the remaining remote corners.

Echoing Singh’s sentiments, Engineer-in-Chief Ajay Gupta highlighted the post-monsoon refurbishments of roads in the state and emphasised the meticulous attention given to safety measures during road construction.

Notably, the tourism surge in Himachal Pradesh has been remarkable, with over one crore tourists, including domestic and foreign visitors, flocking to the state in the first half of 2023. In line with this, the state government is intensifying efforts to also enhance air connectivity by constructing heliports and expanding airports in Shimla, Dharamshala, and Kangra, ensuring easier access to all district headquarters for tourists.

  • Published On Nov 27, 2023 at 11:11 AM IST

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