Bengaluru: The Chikkaballapur district administration in Karnataka on Tuesday issued a stern order after about 8,000 people streamed past the gates to Nandi Hills on Sunday, the first weekend after the lockdown was completely lifted. The officials have decided to ban entry to Nandi Hills during weekends — from Friday 6 pm to Monday 6 am.
The hill station, about 60km from Bengaluru, is a goto spot, especially on weekends, for people not only from the state capital, but also other towns like Tumakuru and Chikkaballapur.
“On Sunday, thousands of people visited the Nandi Hills. The tourism department-run hotel in the hilltop was fully booked on weekends and hence to control the spread of the coronavirus in the district, we have decided to ban entry to Nandi Hills during weekends,” the additional deputy commissioner of the district Amaresh H said to Indianexpress.com.
“There was a huge traffic jam on Rani cross in Devanahalli taluk. A stretch of about 1 km on the way to Nandi Hills witnessed traffic snarls on Sunday,” Amaresh added.
- The Nandi Hills were closed since April in the wake of the Covid-induced lockdown.
- The Hills were opened for visitors on June 21 but remained closed on Saturdays and Sunday due to weekend curfew.
- Authorities at the hill station did throw open the gates on June 27, a Sunday, but promptly closed them as huge crowds gathered.
- The people who visited the spot were seen flouting all covid appropriate behaviour.
- Local officials attributed the poor numbers on Saturday to the hill station remaining closed on previous weekends.
- People from Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh had booked rooms and suites, officials said.
- There were at least 3,000 vehicles and 8,000 visitors on the hilltop, they added.