Dehra Dun : With rains lashing, Uttarakhand tourism has been hit directly with prospective tourists and those wanting to undertake the char dhaam yatra doing a rethink, recalling the 2013 tragedy when torrential rains and ensuing flash floods took a toll of thousands of lives.
Whereas in the last week of June when the weather was generally clear, the number of pilgrims reaching the Badrinath shrine every day was in thousands. This number has come down to 114 on July 2 and 255 on July 3, with those involved in the Yatra claiming that a lot of bookings were being cancelled.
The same story is also for the Kedarnath shrine where the number of pilgrims on July 1 was 498 and 434 for July 2. If one takes the consolidated figures for the shrine which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, over 1.50 lakh pilgrims came in May, beginning from May 9 when the doors opened after the winters and over 97,000 in June. But in the three days of July the number of pilgrims has been only a little over 1300.
And it is not only the char dhaam yatra that has been adversely hit, even the tourist resorts in the state, including Mussoorie and Nainital are being adversely hit. There are reports from the hotel industry that many bookings are being cancelled and there is a rush to get away from the tourist destinations.
Though officials claimed that the rush of tourists going away from the popular hill resorts was because of the fact that the schools had opened and children had to attend their classes but a spokesman of the Uttarakhand Hotel Association said that the cancellation of rooms by prospective tourists who had booked for these days was because of the incessant rains.
https://www.facebook.com/indianexpress/videos/10154317954673826/He said that the cloudburst in Pithoragarh which had taken a toll of over 20 lives and many had to be rushed in was played up by the electronic media.
“No doubt that the army was called in for rescue and relief operations, but it sent a negative message to the prospective tourists who shied away from coming and cancelled their bookings”, said a spokesman of the Uttarakhand Hotel Association.
Though the met department has forecast that there would be relatively light rains till Tuesday, but heavy rains were expected from Wednesday onwards, which has come as a deterrent to many prospective visitors to this hill state.