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Check on vehicle booking to Tiger Hill without valid passes

Darjeeling: The police have asked tourists visiting Darjeeling to abstain from booking vehicles to Tiger Hill without valid passes. Vehicles without valid passes are not being allowed to Tiger Hill by the police.

The Darjeeling police and district administrative have heralded in certain changes in the existing traffic system of the town to ensure a hassle-free tourist season that sees a surge in vehicular traffic in town. The changes have been implemented from September 1.

Under the new system, 300 vehicles are allowed to Tiger Hill daily.

The vehicles visiting Tiger Hill have to collect the previous day from the traffic office in Darjeeling. The passes are handed out on first come first serve basis and are free of cost.

A drop gate has been put up at the start point of the access road at Tiger Hill where the passes are being checked.

"On September 1, 24 vehicles with valid passes were allowed while 107 vehicles without passes were returned. Similarly on September 2, 56 vehicles were allowed and 11 returned. We request the Hotels to inform the tourists regarding this system and the tourists should not book vehicles to Tiger Hill without valid passes," stated Dorjee Sherpa, OC, Traffic, Darjeeling.

When asked if the number of vehicles to Tiger Hill would be increased from 300 during peak tourist season Somnath Saha, DSP, Traffic, Darjeeling stated: "We have sent a letter to the forest department which has an open space in Tiger Hill to be used as a parking lot. If they allow then around 700 to 800 vehicles will easily fit there."

Heavy vehicles were also not allowed to ply in the town from 7am to 8 pm to avoid jams. 4 army trucks ferrying students were also stopped on Monday.

"We had informed them of the stricture. All need to comply with the rules for the benefit of the public. The army can use school buses," added the DSP.

However, HD Lama road has not yet been opened to traffic as per earlier plans from September 1. "We will initiate this at the earliest. Some more dialogue is required between various stakeholders, including the Municipality as hawkers need to be removed for vehicular traffic on HD Lama Road," Saha said.

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