Video: Tourist Drives Thar SUV Through River To Beat Himachal Traffic Jam

Roads in Himachal Pradesh are witnessing massive traffic congestion as several tourists have started to throng to the hill stations in the state for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Video: Tourist Drives Thar SUV Through River To Beat Himachal Traffic Jam

Roads in Himachal Pradesh are witnessing massive traffic congestion as several tourists have started to throng to the hill stations in the state for Christmas and New Year celebrations. And amid this rush, a tourist found an ingenious way to beat the traffic - ditching roads for a drive across a river.

In a video, the tourist was seen driving a Mahindra Thar SUV through the Chandra river in Lahaul Valley. Fortunately, the water level in the river wasn't much as otherwise the drive could even have turned fatal. The video, which has been widely shared on social media, has drawn criticism from the locals.

The police have issued a challan to the driver of the SUV. "Recently, a video went viral in which a Thar is crossing the river Chandra in District Lahaul Spiti. The said vehicle has been challenged under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and to ensure that no one commits such an offence in the future, the district police have deployed police personnel at the said place," said SP Mayank Chaudhry.

There was a huge traffic jam at many places on the Lahaul to Manali route last evening when the tourist drove his car into the river.

Tourists are flocking Manali, the tourist town of Kullu district to celebrate Christmas and also to witness snow in Lahaul Valley.

About 55,000 vehicles crossed the Atal tunnel in Rohtang - that joins Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti - in the past three days, officials said. Several videos have surfaced on social media showing a long queue of vehicles on roads.

Even though the influx of tourists is a boost for the hospitality sector, managing it is challenging for the administration. The influx can also have a huge impact on the ecology of the region which is fragile and prone to natural calamities.

Sanjay Kundu, Director General of Police, Shimla appealed to the tourists to prioritise safe travel practices and adhere to traffic rules.

Officials said more than 1 lakh vehicles are expected to enter Shimla this week for New Year celebrations.

According to police data, about 60,000 vehicles remain parked on the roadsides in the city. On average, about 12,000 vehicles enter Shimla on weekdays, with the number rising to over 26,000 during the weekends at the height of the tourist season.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has asserted that the state is "managing (the situation) well".