Chikkamagaluru roads choked by year-end tourists

Tourists visiting Chikkamagaluru in large numbers during the weekend has resulted in traffic congestion in town.

A large number of tourists have arrived at Chikkamagaluru with plans to have a New Year bash on the hilly regions of the district. The homestays and guest houses are almost full.

A large turnout of tourist vehicles has been creating traffic logjams on the main roads, giving a headache for vehicle riders and pedestrians.

A lot of space in the parking area from Bolarameshwara temple to Government Polytechnic is occupied by tourists’ vehicles.

As many as 1,142 cars, 245 bikes, 87 tempo travellers and 3 school and college buses have passed through Kaimara checkpost to visit places of interest situated in the region, till 5 pm, on December 30. Around 15,000 people have visited the district and the number is expected to increase on December 31.

Police personnel said that parking has become a serious issue near the guesthouses. If the parking space in the guesthouses is full, tourists park their vehicles in the public parking area. This problem could be solved by introducing a pay and park system in the district. 

Coffee Nadu homestay owner S Santhosh opined that there has been a significant increase in the number of tourists to Chikkamagaluru this year and people preferred the coffee land over Kodagu. A considerably lesser number of tourists have opted to spend their year-end in Kodagu, following the natural calamity.

He added that his homestay was booked in advance for the year-end. The room rents have however not been increased. 

Mullaiahanagiri Tappalu Rakshana Vedike president Guruvesh said that some irresponsible tourists who had set up a bonfire in the forest area of Mullayanagiri hill range created a fire mishap in Pandaravalli last year. Action should be initiated against tourists who avoid checkpost route to sneak into the district, he said.

Regional Forest Officer Shilpa said that permission is denied for the entry of tourists to the forest range. Homestays in the forest area have also been forbidden from renting out rooms to tourists on December 31 and January 1.

Additional staff has been deployed to check incidents of poaching, she added.

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