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Efforts on to bring U’khand tourism on track

The 16 June flash floods, cloud-bursts and landslides halted the ongoing Char Dham yatra in Gangotri, Yamnunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, including Sikh shrine Hemkund Sahib. The famous Kailash Mansarover pilgrimage in Kumaon region was also stopped due to the same reason.
According to state official’s data, the tourism industry of this hill state suffered a loss of Rs 12,000 crore, which is big blow to the industry in a small state where this industry is life-line of many inhabitants.

The families of tourist-based businessmen are solely dependent on the influx of tourists. The hoteliers, tourist lodges, kiosks, pony owners, local guides and taxi operators are struggling to make their ends meet. The condition of local coolies is really miserable nowadays, as their life is totally dependent on daily earnings.

The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), the two extended arms of state tourism are facing tough time as the tourists are cancelling their trip to this disaster-hit hill state. Prior to mid-June, GMVN was expecting a booming business of Rs eight crores, but all their dreams and calculations shattered like a pack of playing cards. It is a fact that only five out of thirteen districts of the state bore the brunt of natural calamity, but the tourists fear to visit this state.

And, rain that started on 15 June is still ruling this state, and media exaggeration especially by electronic media has filled fear in the minds of tourists. Although, senior official of state tourism recently told that only ten percent places were damages in the natural calamity, and still ninety percent places are safe and accessible.
The Bahuguna-led Congress government is totally focused to bring tourism industry on the right track as early as possible, albeit rough weather is creating trouble time again and again. Border Road Organization (BRO), PWD and other agencies are given the deadline of 15 September to repair and re-construct all the washed away roads and damaged road connectivity in the highways that meets the pilgrimage centres.

An alternative helipad in Gangaria is on the pipeline to signify road connectivity to Badrinath and Hemkund. An alternative safe and reliable trek route will soon be operated for the pilgrims/tourists to reach Kedarnath shrine. NDMA is constantly monitoring the progress and pilgrimage management of the state.

New tourists hot-spots are developing in a modernize way to attract tourists from the other states. Although, CM Vijay Bahuguna recently told that a panel of environmentalists, geologist and engineers will supervise the new construction work considering the fragile environment of Garhwal region.
Sandeep Bankhwal

Sandeep Bankhwal

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