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Union Tourism Ministry pulls up Sikkim Tourism Dept for ‘exploitative’ cab rates

First Published: 18th May, 2024 20:25 IST

The Union tourism ministry has pulled up the Sikkim tourism department for ‘exploitative’ cab and permit rates. K.P. Wasnik, a former additional commissioner of the Union ministry of agriculture who

The Union tourism ministry has pulled up the Sikkim tourism department for ‘exploitative’ cab and permit rates.

K.P. Wasnik, a former additional commissioner of the Union ministry of agriculture who had visited Sikkim in April had written to the Centre complaining about very steep taxi and permit rates.

Following his complaint,
in a letter dated May 13, the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System of the Union Tourism Ministry pulled up the Sikkim tourism and civil aviation department for the rates.

“The issues raised (by Wasink) included exploitative pricing by the travel agencies for permits to visit various tourist spots, safety concerns at Nathu-la point due to narrow steps and inadequate infrastructure, lack of amenities and security measures at tourist spots and exorbitant charges by travel agencies for car rentals,” says the letter sent by the ministry.
“It is requested that the matter kindly be examined and action as deemed fit,” said the letter.
In his complaint, Wasnik said he and the family had visited Lachung, Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Nathu-la and some other spots in Sikkim.
“The travel agencies charged Rs 4,000 for Zero Point and Yumthang Valley and another Rs 4,000 for permits to go to Nathu-la pass and the lake. This is sheer exploitation of the visitors. I suggest that the government department should issue the pass online by accepting the fee, if any, through online mode,” the former official said in his letter.
He also said no arrangements were available at the tourist spots to provide shelter or proper food to visitors in case of a sudden downpour or snowfall.

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