Pune: Tourist Rush Causes Traffic Chaos in Lonavala

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Lonavala, 20th May 2024:The summer vacation surge led to a massive influx of tourists in Lonavala on Sunday, creating significant traffic congestion throughout the city. Tourists from various parts of the state, including Pune and Mumbai, flocked to Lonavala in their vehicles, resulting in widespread chaos.

Over the past few days, Lonavala and Khandala have experienced rainfall, attracting even more visitors seeking a cool retreat. The traffic congestion began on Saturday as families arrived for the weekend. The influx of cars led to traffic snarls at several locations, particularly affecting the Mumbai-Pune National Highway, where traffic was moving at a sluggish pace.

Compounding the issue, tourists traveling to Kolhapur and Konkan opted for the old Mumbai-Pune highway, which exacerbated the situation. Additionally, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway was closed for two hours for technical work on both Saturday and Sunday, further contributing to the traffic woes.

Popular tourist spots such as Lions Point and Rajmachi Point were heavily crowded. The Bhushi Dam area also saw a significant number of visitors, drawn by the rainy season. However, other areas remained less crowded. With schools set to reopen in June, many families chose this time to visit Lonavala, leading to fully booked hotel rooms across the city. Tourists heading to destinations like Mahabaleshwar, Kolhapur, Satara, and Nashik also made stops in Lonavala, adding to the congestion.

Efforts to manage the traffic were undertaken by the Lonavala Highway Police, Borghat Police, and Khandala Highway Police. Despite their efforts, the slow-moving traffic in the ghat areas caused engine overheating and vehicle breakdowns at multiple locations, further aggravating the situation.

Locals and tourists alike faced considerable hardship due to the traffic jams.