Himachal hoteliers flay night curfew, seek financial aid from govt

Himachal hoteliers flay night curfew, seek financial aid from govt

Members of hotel associations address a press conference in Dharamsala on Thursday. Tribune photo

ibune News Service

Dharamsala, November 26

The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations (FOHRA) today criticised the government decision to impose night curfew and demanded financial assistance for the tourism industry in the state.

Ashwani Bamba, president of FOHRA, during a press conference here, said the hotel and tourism industry had suffered a lot and was on the brink of collapsing due to the extended lockdown. “Now, once again, the government has imposed restrictions that will ruin the industry. If the government wants to go for the easy option of controlling the pandemic with lockdowns, it should provide financial assistance to the industry,” he said.

He said the federation strongly condemned the government notification issued on November 24, wherein night curfew was imposed from 8 pm to 6 am in four districts of Shimla, Kullu, Kangra and Mandi.

He said due to the pandemic, the hotel industry was already reeling under huge stress, with low occupancy and almost zero revenue. “Financial bankruptcy has been looming large upon us but despite all odds and without any support from the government, the hotel industry has been taking all safety measures and following SOPs of the state and central governments to somehow stay afloat,” he said.

He said, “The spike in Covid-19 cases in the state is due to political and social functions, including marriages, which are being organised without any administrative check on the number of participants, social distancing norms and wearing of masks. “Night curfew is not the solution to control the virus. It will only kill the tourism industry and will result in unemployment and layoffs,” said Bamba.

He said the police should be deployed at tourist and public places to enforce Covid-safety norms.

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