Nilgiris stare at pathetic tourism season in the year ahead, seeks govt help

Published on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021

People dependent on tourism for their livelihood have appealed to the State government to reconsider its decision to close tourist spots.Traders and tourist van drivers in The Nilgiris district staged a protest on Monday demanding the state government to reconsider the decision and also to announce a financial package to those affected by the lock down. “Tasmac shops have been allowed to function round the clock. However, livelihood for the thousands of people depending upon the tourism sector are in peril, they said


Tourists spot in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) to be closed to the visitors from Tuesday. ATR Deputy Director Arokiyaraj Xavier said tourists would not be allowed to Topslip, and Monkey Falls near Pollachi until further orders. Those who had paid for rooms through online will be refunded soon, he added. Eco tourism spots in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), the KovaiCourtallam water fall and Baralikkadu would also be off bounds for tourists.


Loss of livelihood
Resort workers and vendors in Yercaud feared loss of livelihood for the second consecutive year. Summer festival and flower show draw thousands to Yercaud every year. During the two months from April, even a small lodge would charge Rs .2,000 to Rs 3,000 for one room while resorts and hotels charge anywhere between Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000. Nathan, manager of a resort in Yercaud, said, “There are 300 small and medium resorts, and 50 big resorts.. Around 850 workers dependent on these resorts would be rendered jobless again. We have to spend thousands on maintenance every month and pay tax and electricity bills. Even if the resorts are closed we have to pay staff in charge of essential operations.” Thangavelu, who runs a fruit stall, said appealed to the State government to consider their plight and announce relaxations


Demand for relief
Coracle operators, cooks and shop owners in Hogennakal requested the district administration to provide compensation to families hit by lock down in tourist places. Mariappan, a shop keeper, said, “The ban on tourism will affect over 450 coracle operators, 600 cooks and 150 vendors in Hogenakkal. We hope the district administration will look after the welfare of the people and announce relief of Rs 5,000 per month.”


Meanwhile, members of the Thamizhaga Hire Goods Owners Association, on Monday took out a rally across the State demanding compensation. V Babu, District Secretary of THGOA, said, our is not a business which reaps benefits all year. It is a seasonal year and in the upcoming month there are many auspicious days where we would get many bookings. Because of the untimely restrictions, lakhs of labourers across the state are affected, he said. Babu also said that the government must allow events like marriages with 50 per cent hall capacity.


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