By Tarak Sarkar
Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], July 1 (ANI): The traders of Darjeeling appeal for maximum vaccination drive against the COVID-19 to boost the inflow of tourists here.
Darjeeling, a famous hilly tourist destination in West Bengal has been impacted badly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotels, restaurants, and markets have been desolated. As a result, people related to the industry have been going through very tough times.
Speaking to ANI, Amit Rai, a hotel manager said, "Basically the middle class and lower economic class people are much affected due to the lockdown. The entire Darjeeling hills is dependent on tourists. Tourists are not coming. Shops and restaurants are seen empty. In this situation, the government should focus on maximum vaccination drive."
Parvez Malik, a trader said only a few customers are coming which is not enough to sustain the livelihood. "I have taken loans to clear staff payment. The vaccination can reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. So, people should take vaccines that not only save their lives but also bring back the glory of Darjeeling. In this situation, I appeal to the government to organize more and more vaccination camps," Malik told ANI.
Although, West Bengal Government has given some relaxation to bring back normalcy following the COVID-19 situation. The government extended restrictions across the state till July 15. Along with other services, the state government has permitted private and state vehicles operation with 50 per cent strength. But the driver has to be vaccinated.
Tourists can visit Darjeeling but have to carry an RTPCR test report not older than 72 hours and approval from the government.
There are 500 hotels in Darjeeling. In 2018-19, around 7.5 lakh domestic and 40,000 international tourists came to visit Darjeeling. (ANI)