Government officials flay Pokhara tourism entrepreneurs

Chief guest and guests being seated during WRHA Pokhara AGM and convention in Pokhara on Friday. Picture:

By Rup Narayan Dhakal—Pokhara: Government officials from Pokhara region have accused the tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara of breaching the rules and laws imposed by Nepal Government.

Addressing as a guest in the 18th convention and 36th annual general meeting of Western Regional Hotel Association (WRHA) Pokhara on Friday, Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (PSMC) Office Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Naba Raj Dhungana blamed the tourism entrepreneurs of taking law in their hands.

Dhungana further said that the entrepreneurs had been incorporating the sewerage in the Phewa Lake which is being polluted day by day. He also accused the entrepreneurs of invading the lands of Phewa Lake by erecting the structures for restaurants and hotels. “Most of the structures that have been built in the shores of Phewa Lakes and around the foot-track are illegal it is because they have not map-passed,’ CEO Dhungana claimed.

CEO Dhungana also added that such structures not only are illegal but also have not maintained safety standard. Blaming that hoteliers and tourism entrepreneurs from Pokhara are hesitating to pay the unified property tax and house rent taxes, CEO Dhunhgana said that the dozens of entrepreneurs have been resorting on tax-evasion. He however accepted that the PSMC Office is unable to fulfill its full responsibilities due to various regions. And, added that his office is ready to co-operate with tourism entrepreneurs for tourism and Pokhara development. He informed that PSM Office has proposed 230 million rupees fund to construct check dams to save Phewa Lake in required locations.

Likewise, As a chief guest, Western Regional Administrator Khagraj Baral also flayed the working style of tourism entrepreneurs. He criticized the hoteliers asking a definition of hotel. He also said that, hotel, lodge, guest house, resort, bar and inn are some of the confusing terminology that he doesn’t understand their meaning. So, according to him, certain business should be abided by certain rules accordingly.

Baral also warned of punishment against the district and regional chiefs of Nepal Telecom, Nepal Drinking Water Corporation and the Nepal Electricity Authority; according to him, they have been installing the services of water, electricity and telephone even in the structures that have not map-passed by PSM Office. He asked the entrepreneurs to follow the norms and ethics of their business responsibly instead of tapping the natural resources like Phewa Lake, for their vested interested.

But WRHA Pokhara immediate past President Hari Prasad Sharma Gaire denied the blames of government officials. He challenged the government officials to pick and punish the culprits but not to blame all the entrepreneurs to defame the logo of hotel association. Likewise, WRHA Pokhara President Bharat Raj Parajuli challenged the government to surface the definition of hotel and respective business. President Parajuli warned of officials not to compare their tourist level hotels to the businesses that serve rice in Muglin.

National Tourism Council Member Basudev Tripathi, Hotel Association Nepal Senior Vice President Srijana Rana, PTRC coordinator Ganesh Bahadur Bhattarai, PCCI President Bishwo Shankar Palikhe, WRHA Pokhara frist vice Preisident Bikal Tulachan and General Secretary Bhekendra Kumar Shrestha also delivered their views during the opening ceremony.

Nagarik Daily’s Pokhara reporter Santosh Pokhrel, WRHA Pokhara Media coordinator and The Himalayan Times Pokhara reporter Rup Narayan Dhakal, WRHA Pokhara office in-charge Ram Prasad Khanal and hoteliers who donated funds to build WRHA Pokhara official building were felicitated by senior VP Rana and Paschim Pritana Chief Jagdish Pokhrel, during the event.

Published on: January 20, 2017 4:18 pm

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