Shimla: Tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh are facing torrid times these days. Due to lack of basic facilities in resorts, most of the tourists are reportedly retreating. Though Himachal Pradesh government is doing its best to promote tourism in the state and has launched several programmes as well, the overall picture is yet to improve.

Tourists visiting Shimla however enjoy a pleasant stay compared to another popular tourist destination in the state – Manali.  Tourists in Manali often get stuck for hours due to lack of transportation facilities, the situation is much better in Shimla. Besides this, taxi operators and hotel owners are doing a pretty brisk business by going for exorbitant fares and charges.

The story does not end here. The tariffs mentioned on tourism-websites are a mere eyewash; the tourists often end up shelling out extra-money. Apart from this, tourist guides and taxi operators hardly follow routes, which have been notified and approved by the administration and government. In fact, even eating joints have almost doubled their charges for tourists.

Vinay Kumar, a tourist from Allahabad came down heavily on the taxi operators who charge skyrocketing fares (up to Rs 250-300) for just a couple of kilometres. Jockeys in Kufri are also making merry in collusion with the taxi drivers in extracting as much as they can from the tourists.  
According to Subhasish Panda, Director of Tourism Department, several steps have been initiated to make things tourist-friendly. Panda said everyone in the department has been asked to make sure problems and grievances of tourists get addressed as fast as possible.

Himachal Pradesh Police DIG B Kamal Kumar said police guides have been deployed to assist tourists coming in from other states. Kamal Kumar added that the police acts swiftly on even the minutest problem of tourists.

JPN Bureau