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Viral video: Tourist drives Mahindra Thar SUV through river to beat Himachal traffic jam

A tourist opted to drive his Mahindra Thar SUV through the Chandra River in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley to beat the traffic jam amid Christmas festivities on Monday evening. However, the tourist’s act drew criticism from locals. 

Viral video Tourist drives Mahindra Thar SUV through river to beat Himachal traffic jam gcw
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First Published Dec 26, 2023, 10:21 AM IST

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. A traveller discovered a clever technique to avoid the traffic during this rush by driving over a river instead of using the roadways. The traveller was captured on camera across the Chandra River in Lahaul Valley in a Mahindra Thar SUV.

Luckily, there wasn't much water in the river; otherwise, the drive may have been disastrous. The residents have expressed disapproval of the video, which has received a lot of attention on social media. The SUV's driver has received a challan from the police.

"A video of a Thar crossing the Chandra River in District Lahaul Spiti became viral recently. The said vehicle has been challenged under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and the district police have deployed police personnel at the said place to ensure that no one commits such an offence in the future," according to SP Mayank Chaudhry.

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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.

Manali, a popular tourist destination in the Kullu district, is teeming with visitors who come to celebrate Christmas and see the snow in Lahaul Valley. In the last three days, almost 55,000 cars have passed through the Atal tunnel in Rohtang, which connects Kullu, Lahaul, and Spiti, according to authorities. Numerous footage of a large wait of cars on the road have gone viral on social media.

Although the tourism industry benefits from the inflow of visitors, management finds it difficult to manage them. The fragile and naturally disaster-prone region's environment may be severely impacted by the migration as well. Officials said more than 1 lakh vehicles are expected to enter Shimla this week for New Year celebrations.

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