Cold, crowded Shimla celebrates New Year
Jan 1, 2007 - 12:57:20 PM
Shimla, Jan 1 - Nearly 50,000 people descended on Shimla on new year's eve, resulting in packed, crowded hotels and some incidents of hooliganism.
The over 350 hotels and guesthouses were full up, forcing many visitors to return to the plains early Monday.
The government and private companies had organised music concerts and lighting displays at the Ridge - an open air ground near the historic Christ Church. Thousands thronged the venue despite near freezing temperatures.
Drunken brawls were reported at several places, causing inconvenience to families and women. There were not too many policemen on duty.
'I will never come our again with my family on New Year eve and will prefer to stay home instead,' complained a disgusted Shimla resident.
The police, however, did round up dozens of men for hooliganism but let them off with a warning.
The resort town wore a dirty look Monday morning with litter and trash strewn on the streets. The influx of tourists severely strained Shimla's infrastructure.
Many tourists had to trudge long distances to reach the downtown area due to inadequate parking facilities.
Other Himachal Pradesh hill stations like Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, and Kasauli also drew huge crowds.
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