With thousands of pilgrims already visiting Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath, and with Badrinath set to open to the public on Sunday, drivers and travelers opined that the State government took the correct decision on the right time by extending the timing for traffic on mountain roads.The State government recently decided to allow the movement of vehicles on mountain roads from 4 AM to 10 PM. Earlier, vehicular traffic was allowed on mountain roads from 5 AM to 8 PM.
While talking to this correspondent, a driver operating on the Yatra circuit, Harijinder Singh said, “This is a good initiative taken by the government in view of the Char Dham Yatra. Enabling vehicles to ply till 10 PM on mountain roads will make the travelling experience easier,” he said.
Fellow cab driver Kaushal Ramola said, “With better and wide roads for the Char Dham Yatra, it is easy for us to travel there. But with the time period for traffic being extended to 10 pm, it is a bonus for us,” he opined.
A representative of Doon Holidays, a tourism company based in Dehradun said, “The Uttarakhand government has taken the right decision at the right time. The roads are much better now and enable easy commutation for the pilgrims. The time period for traffic being extended by a total of three hours in a day is icing on the cake for us.”
It is pertinent to mention here that with the Char Dham Yatra being conducted in a full-fledged form this year after being hampered due to the Covid-19 pandemic during the past two years, the State government is expecting a record number of pilgrims this year. Apart from the many thousands of pilgrims who have already visited the Char Dham shrines, a total of eight lakh registrations of pilgrims have been done so far. Expecting the larger numbers, the State government decided to extend the time allowed for vehicular traffic on mountain roads by three hours for the convenience of the travellers. According to sources, complaints were received in the past about travellers facing inconvenience when they had to stop midway when the permitted time for traffic ended. The police, transport and other agencies also used to face inconvenience in halting the travellers midway.