“The national highway has been closed. Essential supplies are hit. It has not stopped raining and there was a major landslide on Monday. It seems worse than the time when the pandemic hit us,” he added. An employee from the Clarkes hotel in Shimla said the situation was ‘quite disturbing.’ “We are not getting future reservations as the road conditions and weather conditions are pretty bad,” he added.
PP Khanna, board member of hospitality industry body Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) said the urgent need was to restore the roads and bridges that have been damaged.
“The July rains affected the entire Himachal and thousands of the tourists were stranded,” he said. “Upper reaches like Manali and nearby areas are again witnessing heavy rains and in some places flash floods have also taken place. We are hoping the rains will subside in September and October,” he added. “In the month of July before the deluge, there were some tourist arrivals but after the rains and the resultant damage, the state did not see any tourist activity,” said Rajiv Mehra, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).
“We hope things get normalised around Dussehra when people from Gujarat and Maharashtra travel in droves to the state,” he added. As of Tuesday, at least 53 people had died in Himachal Pradesh in separate incidents. A temple collapsed in the Summer Hill area of Shimla, while the other casualties were due to a cloudburst in Solan district. Heavy rains had triggered a flood like situation in Mandi district on August 15. Garish Oberoi, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), said occupancies were severely hit in Himachal and people are shying away from the state and hill stations in general. The Char Dham Yatra was suspended in neighbouring Uttarakhand on August 14 and 15 in view of the red alert issued in the state.