Pune (Maharashtra) [India], July 10 (ANI): After the Maharashtra government provided various relaxations in several COVID-19 restrictions, tourists in large numbers thronged Lonavla of Pune district on Saturday. Police personnel have been deployed at picnic spots to control the tourists and make them follow COVID guidelines.
Similar scenes also emerged from other states post unlocking.
Tourists have been thronging hills as the heatwave has hit the plains and the second wave of COVID-19 is seeing a significant decline in the country, although the violation of Covid appropriate behavior by visitors is being observed at many places.
After the relaxation of COVID-19 norms by the Uttarakhand government, tourists have rushed to hill stations such as Dhanaulti, Mussourie, and Nainital and the authorities are trying to ensure that they follow social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols.
While speaking to ANI, Dhanaulti Forest Inspector Harvinder Rawat said, "Due to opening of the place for tourists, revenue has increased. We are following social distancing and checking the COVID-19 reports at checkpoints. All precautions are in place."
After the relaxation of rules, there is a huge crowd at popular tourist places of Uttarakhand. All the major hill stations including Nainital-Mussoorie, Dhanaulti are crowded.
While speaking to ANI, Dhiraj Uniyal, a local resident at Dhanolti said, "Such situations of overcrowding in different parts of the state are scaring the people of the state. Due to the fear of the third wave of corona infection, the crowd of tourists in Uttarakhand is ringing alarm bells for us."
"People are roaming without masks. There is no social distancing but we continue to reprimand them. We are also scared as even vaccination hasn't been done here in Dhanaulti," said Somvari Gaur, a local resident.
DIG, spokesperson PHQ Uttarakhand Nilesh Bharan said that the rules will be followed. "We are trying our best that COVID-19 protocols are being followed in the state."
As per the visuals, several people were seen flouting COVID-19 protocols. Many were seen not wearing masks or following social distancing.
As the tourist's influx has increased in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday said the state government has issued an order regarding 50 per cent occupancy capping in hotels in Nainital and Dehradun.
Speaking to ANI, Dhami said, "We have issued an order regarding 50 per cent occupancy capping in hotels in Nainital and Dehradun. Challans are being issued to those who aren't wearing masks. We are making efforts and will follow guidelines to contain the spread of the virus."
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had on Friday appealed to tourists to follow COVID-19 norms.
Speaking to ANI, Jairam Thakur had said, "We are concerned about the number of tourists coming to the State. Tourists are welcome here but I appeal to them to follow COVID19 norms."
"We need to save the tourism industry also. I held a virtual meeting with districts officials and directed them to monitor and regulate the crowd. COVID19 is not over yet. Hotels are being asked to follow SOPs," he added. (ANI)