Sunday, 31 March 2013

Kullu unions, associations, NGOs to make strategy for better tourism services

Himachal Vacation Travel News

MANALI: Battered by weak infrastructure and overlooking by government, all NGOs, associations and unions of the district have decided to hold a meeting in Manali on April 10 to prepare strategy to force government to strengthen the infrastructure including roads and flight connectivity ahead of summer tourism season.

Mall Road, Manali
This is for the first time that hoteliers association, all taxi unions, various NGOs, beopar mandals, luxury coach unions, travel agent unions, adventure sports unions and all those who are directly or indirectly linked to tourism would congregate in Manali to discuss the issues pertaining to promotion of tourism. The meeting would be held under the chairmanship of hoteliers’ association president Anup Thakur.
Issues like bad condition of national highway, improvement of Manali-Rohtang road, construction of bridge over river Beas and bypass road for town, resuming flight services to Kullu-Manali, toilet facilities between Manali and Rohtang pass, provision of mobile medical service at tourist places, channelization of river Beas, exploring new tourist destinations, maintenance of Naggar-Bijli Mahadev road, permission to use Hamta road, increasing the lower limit of central service tax from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 and lowering luxury tax rate from 10 to 5% would be discussed in the meeting, Thakur said. According to sources, the enraged people would take strict action and may agitate for the demand of better facilities for betterment of tourism industry.


According to Thakur, hoteliers had discussed their problems with chief minister who had given assurance for all possible efforts from his side. “Summer tourist season is nearing and our weak infrastructure is surely going to leave a negative impact on tourists,” he said. The beautification of Mall Road that is going on at snail’s pace since last two years has also put its negative impact on the tourism. Now, executive committee of hoteliers has formed sub-committees to check the progress and loopholes in tourism industry.
A sub-committee would keep sharp watch over the issues related to roads and transport. Another committee would check the improvement in infrastructure related to the tourism. The third committee will establish coordination and publicity in all sub-committees. All these sub-committees will report to the president to take the further action.

As a large portion of the population in Kullu-Manali is directly or indirectly linked to the tourism industry and people have fed up of complaining their problems with the government individually, all unions and associations have now decided to send their message in a single voice to the government.

 
 

Don’t put ban on private taxis and cars on Rohtang road: Manali beopar mandal
MANALI: While government is busy in drafting strict regulations for traffic to Rohtang pass and littering in the area, the beopar mandal of Manali has termed plying of buses to Rohtang pass a dangerous affair and degradation of tourism standards.

Traffic on Manali-Rohtang highway (file photo)
In a letter to chief secretary, Manali beopar mandal has suggested to draft the regulation taking care of safety of tourists, tourism standards, rights of locals and employment to youths. President Amar Singh said High Court has already prohibited the movement of buses having more than 27 seats on this route, and now the recommendation of ban on all private cars and taxis on Manali-Rohtang highway would not only leave thousands of youths unemployed but plying of buses on narrow congested roads will lead to more accidents. “Monopoly of bus service will cause many problems including black-marketing, long queues for tickets, service standards and independent travelling. We have requested High Court to consider all facts so as to maintain safety and quality of tourism. We highly recommend use of permanent utensils instead of non-disposables in dhabas at Rohtang pass,” he said.

High Court is concerned about the littering on Manali-Rohtang highway and beopar mandal is ready to coordinate government to restrict the number of dhabas at a particular place in Rohtang pass. Beopar mandal has recommended removal of all food junctions up to Rohtang pass and strict policies for remaining limited dhabas at Rohtang pass. (with inputs from Sudershan Bhatt, general secretary, Manali Beopar Mandal)

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