Indefinite bandh by taxi operators cripples tourism industry
MANALI: Indefinite bandh by taxi operators of Manali has left
thousands of tourists confined to their hotels as all taxi drivers and taxi
unions have decided to agitate against the government for its decision to stop
movement of all vehicles older than for years on Manali-Rohtang road following
orders from Himachal High Court.
Him-Aanchal Taxi
Operators Union, the largest taxi union of the state, has locked its office
situated in Manali on Tuesday. The union which claims to have support from all
other taxi unions of the state has decided not to give their services to
tourists until restriction of four years is not lifted from all the vehicles.
Now tourists visiting Manali would have to return back without seeing Rohtang
pass (snow point), Manikaran and all other tourist spots of Kullu. Also,
service on Manali-Leh, Manali-Delhi and all small and long routes would be paralyzed
from Wednesday.
Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union president Puran Chand Thakur said most of the taxis in Manali
and other parts of the state are older than four years and stopping them from
offering their service on Rohtang Pass road would affect the livelihood of thousands
of families. “Thousands of youths are generating self-employment by running
taxis. We have learnt that the ban would not be imposed on government vehicles.
Why this bias decision? We are left with no other way than to protest for our
rights,” he said.
An emergency
meeting between taxi operators, hoteliers, beopar mandal and over 25 torism
organizations and representatives of panchayats. The decision to shut down taxi
service was taken after long discussion between them. Taxi operators are
concerned about the bank loans and its repayment as Rohtang is the main tourist
spot of Manali. Thakur said if their demands are not fulfilled till June 21,
the peaceful agitation may turn furious. “We don’t want to ruin the tourism and
irritate the tourists. But we are tired of requesting government and this is
the only way to secure our future,” he added.
Meanwhile,
thousands of tourists who are staying in Manali and who would be arriving
Manali in next few days may have to disappoint if the bandh will not come to an
end. The tourists will have to stay in the hotels and those coming to Manali or
leaving Manali will have to carry their luggage themselves to reach the bus
stands.

Associations warns of boycott in Lok Sabha by-election

Manali: Taxi operators, hoteliers, beopar mandals, panchayat representatives and other
organizations linked to tourism industry have warned that if their demands are
not heard till June 21, they would boycott the Lok Sabh byelections on June 23.  Kullu-Manali Paryatan Vikas Manch president
Anup Thakur, under whose chairmanship another meeting was called here,
said  a memorandum has been forwarded to
chief minister to approach Supreme Court in fovor of the locals. “If government
fails to take an appropriate step till June 21, we shall boycott the Lok Sabha
elections,” he said.

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The Himalayan

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