The Tehri Garhwal district administration on Thursday capped the number of tourists allowed at the Kempty Falls in Mussoorie to 50, after an undated viral video showed hundreds crowding the popular spot minus social distancing and mandatory masks.
Iva Shrivastava, district magistrate, Tehri Garhwal, has said that no more than 50 persons would be allowed at the waterfall at a time and an air horn would signal their exit after 30 minutes. She added that at least 50 percent of the challans for Covid-19 violations in the district were issued at the waterfall.
The action comes as the locals in Mussoorie, hailed as the Queen of Hills, expressed concerns regarding the recurrence of the Covid pandemic in the town due to the high tourist footfall.
The pandemic protocols were flouted in Nainital and other tourist places as well. Several city markets in Nainital were found crowded and restaurants were found to be operating at full capacity in violation of the state guidelines that allow such establishments to work at only 50 percent capacity.
The Uttarakhand high court also warned that the massive influx of tourists may lead to a spurt in Covid-19 cases.
The neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh is facing a similar situation as a large number of tourists have arrived in the Himalayan state to beat the heat. The state government Thursday launched an awareness campaign to encourage pandemic-appropriate behaviour among tourists.
Recently, a video of a child from Manali, wearing a mask but no slippers, went viral on the internet. In the video, he can be seen asking people without masks — “Tumhara mask kahan hai?" (Where is your mask?). The kid, Amit, has now been made the mascot of the local police for coronavirus protocols.