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Morcha worried for low tourist turn out

Tuesday, 19 March 20131comments

Kurseong March 19: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) ruled by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in the Darjeeling hills in a clear indication Tuesday seemed worried about the low turn out of tourists in the hills this season. Concerned GTA executive members are preparing taking different measures plump back tourists in the hills.

That the GTA was worried was evident from what Binay Tamang said today. “Darjeeling is peaceful and more beautiful than ever. Those who want to come here can come without any fear. The GJM and the GTA welcomes all the tourists and will provide security in all possible ways to ensure their comfortable stay,” said Tamang.

The sudden drop down of tourist in the hills was triggered by the GJM call for a renewed agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland after a recent spat with the Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee at a government program. The Morcha had also called a series of bandhs in the hills starting March 15 that was eventually withdrawn after a Morcha team visited the Capital where union ministers along with the President of the India requested them to withdraw the agitation.

Observers said the low turn out was evident this year given the call for renewed agitation. Sources from the tourism industry said people opted to book their trips to Sikkim instead of Darjeeling because of the fear of another agitation that was announced.

Ever since the start of Gorkhaland agitation in 2007 tourists have been flocking to nearby Sikkim as the state is peaceful. However after the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) momentum was back in the hills too but lost to keep the momentum going because of the political unrest that took place in the recent couple of months.
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19 March 2013 at 23:55

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