Vehicles may be allowed on Shimla’s pedestrian-only roads

March 4th, 2008 - 4:58 pm ICT by admin  

Shimla, March 4 (IANS) Motor vehicles may soon be allowed on some of the pedestrian-only roads of this popular Himalayan resort and Himachal Pradesh capital. The police here have sought permission to open some of the 11 sealed and seven restricted roads.

Only a handful of emergency and VIP vehicles are allowed on these roads since the time of the British Raj, when Shimla was India’s summer capital. Anyone driving on these roads without a permit could be fined up to Rs.5,000.

Large groups of pedestrians ambling down these roads are a common sight here and have become a way of life.

A few hospitals, the chief minister’s official residence and several residential areas are on these roads.

“We want to open some of the roads for the convenience of the public,” said Shimla district police chief R.M. Singh.

But there are some who disagree with the move to allow vehicles on to the quiet roads lined with pine trees.

“Walking will no longer remain a unique way of life, once traffic starts on these roads,” said J.S. Thakur, a long-time resident.

It remains to be seen if the state government will grant approval to this proposal.

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