Karnataka: In Chikkamagaluru, locals block tourists’ vehicles | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Locals in Chikkamagaluru city on Sunday blocked vehicles of tourists headed to Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka, over fears the influx of people would lead to Covid-19 infections spreading in the area. Locals were also upset with the Chikkamagaluru district administration for allowing unbridled access to tourist spots in the district.
Nearly 200 vehicles were held up at the spot following a snap protest and it threw traffic out of gear in the area. Although tourists pleaded with protesters to allow them to pass, residents refused to budge and continued to block traffic. Eventually, Chikkamagaluru police rushed to the spot and pacified protesters. Visitors, most of whom were from Bengaluru, had to wait for hours and eventually returned without visiting the peak.
Protesters demanded that the authorities regulate the flow of travellers and make it mandatory that they furnish Covid negative reports in order to enter the district. While the daily number of positive cases has reduced in the state, it continues to be high in the Malnad district and this has locals worried.
As soon as residents took out a protest at Kaimara Circle in the town, Youth Congress workers joined in and supported the protest against tourists in the greenrich district.
KN Ramesh, district deputy commissioner, said the district administration will frame rules to restrict tourists in the coming days. He said they will set up a special task force to keep track of tourist flow, but he refused to comment on the demand of locals that visitors produce Covid negative reports at checkposts.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Shivamogga district, authorities continued to face a tough time to regulate visitors to Jog Falls. The district administration had made it mandatory for those visiting the falls to furnish Covid-19 negative reports. The Jog Management Authority has set up three layers of security to manage the rush.
Srinivas, director of Jog Management Authority, said they have set up a checkpost to screen tourists and to check for Covid negative reports. He said it has helped prevent crowding at the falls. He said although high, the crowd was smaller on Sunday compared to previous weekends.

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