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20 Apr 2018

Hill hotels asked to shun greed

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Apr 20, 2018 Darjeeling: Akhilesh Chaturvedi, the Darjeeling superintendent of police, on Thursday advised transporters and hotel owners not to be "greedy" and think about the "inconvenience" of others and held Bimal Gurung's 104-day strike agitation as an example.

The police organised an interactive session with hoteliers and transporters at Dibyavani Hall here on Thursday in Darjeeling for better preparedness before the summer tourist rush. Since June last year, tourism has been hit hard.

Addressing the gathering, Chaturvedi said: "The number of tourists visiting Darjeeling has increased by leaps and bound compared to 10-15 years back. Darjeeling has limited space. Hotels have come up but proper planning like accessibility to hotels has not been done."

"I would request all not to be greedy and try and earn more this year to recover last year's losses. People should not be greedy. Drivers stop right at the middle of the road because they are greedy that they will lose on their passengers," said Chaturvedi who also asked the gathering to be polite to tourists and curb vehicular pollution.

Taking about inconvenience, the police chief said: "One driver does not think about the inconvenience of the other vehicle. They stop whether the road is narrow or wide. Hoteliers should also not charge more."

Chaturvedi then drew parallel to the "politics" of the hills. "Actually, the political problem of Darjeeling is also the same. One person for his convenience threw the rest of the public into 105 days of inconvenience ....and tried to eat more than necessary and that is why he had to leave the place and go," said Chaturvedi, clearly referring to Gurung's three-month strike call.

"One should think of others' inconvenience and control greed," he advised, adding "this will solve a lot of problem in personal, political and cultural life".

"Tourists are chased away in a day, will such practice bring more tourist?" asked Chaturvedi in a clear reference to tourists having to leave the town in a jiffy in June.

S.N. Pradhan, the president of the Himalayan Transport Co-ordination Committee, replied: "It was not the common people who chased the tourists away, it was the leaders."

Chaturvedi replied: "It is said; a man is known by the company he keeps."

Pradhan also asked for better implementation of rules. "A parking lot has come up but even after than (taxi) syndicates are being opened in town and they said they are from Trinamul Congress or from Gorkha Janmukti Morcha."

Later, speaking to the media Pradhan said the GTA, district administration and police were working in three different directions. "If the three wings work in tandem, a lot of issues can be solved."

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