August: From September 1, 300 vehicles will be allowed to the world famous sunrise point Tiger Hill in a day.The Darjeeling police and district administrative have decided on 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 decision has however rubbed the hoteliers, travel agents and taxi syndicates the wrong way and they have threatened to take legal recourse. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDarjeeling off late has been reeling under acute traffic problems. The situation further aggravates during tourist season with a large number of tourists arriving from the plains. Keeping this in view the Darjeeling police has embarked on an exercise including seeking suggestions from the public on how to ease the traffic problem. The police have been towing away vehicles and motor bikes parked in no parking zones. “If we do not take stringent measures then there will be no further scope of damage control. Already things are going out of hand. It is not only the tourists, the entire town suffers. School children get late for school caught in serpentine jams. The situation is worse in and around tourist spots,” stated Rahul Pandey, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling (Town.) Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe number of vehicles visiting Tiger Hill will be restricted to not more than 300 per day based on coupons issued by the Sadar traffic office a day in advance. The Himalayan Transport Coordination Committee held a meeting to discuss these changes with other stakeholders in Darjeeling on Friday. “We feel that the decision to restrict 300 vehicles to Tiger Hill will be a major deterrent to tourism. We have decided to oppose this. We instead have approached the police to hold a review meeting with stakeholders. The police along with the stakeholders should visit Tiger Hill and review the ground realities. There is an old road also where cars can be parked,” stated SN Pradhan, Himalayan Transport Coordination Committee. He stated the system of issuing daily coupons (passes) for Tiger Hill will not be feasible. “On one side the Government claims that they are trying to promote homestays and on the other hand they are implementing such rules. Homestays are in far flung areas. How will they come to get coupons to visit Tiger Hill?” questioned Pradhan. The committee has stated that if the police impose these changes without reviewing with stakeholders then things might get out of hand. “We will be compelled to take legal recourse against this,” threatened Pradhan. Tourism Minister Goutam Deb, talking to media persons in Siliguri on Friday stated “Hill stations have such restrictions. All this is being done for the benefit of the tourists. Tourists book cars, start at 4am and because of the huge rush many a times fail to reach Tiger Hill thereby missing the sunrise. Only after a proper survey the police have taken such decision. I will however hold a discussion on this issue with the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.” Batasia Loop will be open to tourists from 10:00 am onwards. Vehicles ferrying passengers to Batasia will be allowed to park only on identified stretches as directed by traffic personnel. “Entire area around Zoo and HMI will be a no stop zone. Visitors will be dropped at PWD parking from where they will have to walk,” stated the DSP. There will be no parking in front of the shops at Tenzing rock along with Lower or Upper Chittrey. Vehicles will be allowed to park on identified stretches as directed. The District Magistrate had also issued an order dated 14.11.2011 in compliance of which no heavy vehicles will be allowed to enter the town between 7 am and 8 pm. Even army vehicles will come under the purview of the order. However emergency services have been exempted from the purview of this. HD Lama road will be used as a thoroughfare and traffic will be plying through this road. “Hence no hawkers will be allowed to occupy any space on this road,” added Pandey. Pick up and drop of passengers will be only allowed at designated points between Ghoom and Chowkbazar.