Shimla, Dec. 17 – Practicing against the PM’s vision of Attathi Devo Bhava to promote domestic tourism, the state government has become a source of harassment as well as general public including tourists alleged
Shimla Hotel & Restaurant Association members here today. It seems that the government is against the tourism sector revival they said further.
After the lockdown ended, lakhs of people are looking forward to a vacation in the hills,especially Himachal Pradesh.
Contrary to this the Himachal Government has had a knee jerk reaction to all situations arising due to the pandemic.
The tourism industry is unquestionably the largest employer and economic activity generator in Himachal.
Sadly the State government has not given any relief to this sector and has been insensitive to any economic activity in the state.
The Government employees are getting their salary and all benefits, whereas the self employed businessmen are suffering due to the insensitive diktats of the Government.
When the entire country opened after the lockdown, Himachal closed its borders.The opening of the borders was ill planed and the omissions of not regulating the inflow of lakhs of people resulted on the spurt of Covid positive cases.This showed the inefficiency and unpreparedness of medical facilities in Shimla.
The Government then without taking the citizens into confidence imposed night curfew first after 8 pm and a few days later after 9 pm.
All establishments specially where tourists eat and buy essentials like milk etc were ordered to be closed on Sundays which resulted in the tourists being harassed.
Targeting tourists on the Mall Road seems to be a hobby of the administration.
It seems that to the administration the Mall Road is the epicenter of the pandemic where scores of policemen are regularly seen bullying the common people.
There is no logic to the draconian steps of the imposition of the night curfew and closing the establishments on Sunday as the Government has no statistics to prove that the spurt in the Covid positive cases is due to the tourists.
The Hotel Association has sent figures to the tourism department which say that hardly any tourism related employee, employers and their staff have been afflicted with the disease.
In Shimla district there are more positive cases in the suburbs and rural areas that in the main town frequented by the tourists.
There is no logic of the night curfew during the peak tourist season of Christmas and the New Year.
The hotel industry has been fighting for survival during the past many months and was looking forward to the coming tourist season.
As it is the coming winter months of January and February are lean with low tourist footfall. Shimla is bearing the brunt of the Government decisions whereas no restrictions have been imposed in the adjoining Solan district.
It has been observed that maximum tourist activity takes place on Saturdays and Sundays and by imposing the lockdown on Sundays,the Government is only creating hurdles in the economic revival in the State.
It seems the Government is averse to any economic activity and is only looking at doles from the Central Government and ensuring that Himachali always stays in debt.
Challaning locals and tourists has become a source of income for the Government.
Where in the country is consuming eatables in the open an offence.The tourists are being singled out and are returning with unpleasant memories of Himachal Pradesh.
We strongly urge the Government to relax the night curfew and allow establishments specially eating places like restaurants, cafes, Dhabas, Halwais etc etc to open on Sundays for convenience of tourists and to help revive the tourism sector in these difficult times.