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Reopening of tourism activities demanded


By Sunil Sonker
Mussoorie, 1 Aug: The Uttarakhand Hotel and Restaurant Association and Mussoorie Traders’ Welfare Association held a joint press conference here, today, and demanded that the government resume the Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatras to save the tourism industry of the state.
State President of the Uttarakhand Hotel and Restaurant Association, Sandeep Sahni said that the tourism industry has been badly affected during the last two years. Steps are not being taken for restoring the tourism of the state. Small and big traders associated with the tourism industry are very upset, but the government has done nothing. He asked why the tourism industry was not being opened in Uttarakhand, when this had been done in other states. The tourism industry provided 35 percent of the GDP to the government. If action is not taken soon, people associated with the tourism industry would be forced to migrate from Uttarakhand. During the Covid lockdown, thousands of migrants had moved back to the state, but have not been provided employment opportunities.
He said that announcements are being made by the government, but nothing is visible at the ground level. So far, no benefit had been given to the people associated with the hotel and restaurant industry. Not much help has been given to the hotel employees, either. The Association had demanded that 6 months’ salary be given to all the hotel and restaurant employees. He said that the government should approach the Supreme Court regarding the Chardham Yatra.
President of the Mussoorie Traders and Welfare Association Rajat Agarwal said that the government is unsuccessful in taking decisions. The Chief Minister had spoken of doing away with the mandatory RT PCR test for those coming to Uttarakhand, but suddenly reversed his decision. He said all the traders of the state would be forced to take to the streets against the government if tourism is not opened up.
Present on this occasion were Mussoorie Hotel Association President RN Mathur, Sanjay Agarwal, Shailendra Karnwal, Mussoorie Traders Welfare Association President Rajat Agarwal, General Secretary Jagjit Kukreja, Harshada Vora and others.