Future of jungle resorts discussed

 

CHITWAN, Aug 20 - Chitwan-based entrepreneurs, political parties and stakeholders associated with wildlife conservation have asked the government to make the final decision on the closure of the seven jungle resorts inside Chitwan National Park only after studying their negative and positive outputs.

Most of the stakeholders stressed the need to keep the hotels open till Nepal Tourism Year 2011. They have presented the suggestion to the sub-committee formed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to study the dispute arising from their closure.

Representatives of the seven resorts and their employees have demanded that the resorts should be allowed to operate as before.

The committee started its work on Tuesday and met with representatives of the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chitwan and Ratnanagar.

During the meeting, the representatives said that the government should not remove the resorts without conducting a study about their impact. They said that the resorts had been set up with huge investments and that the national benefit should be taken into account.

"The resorts should be allowed to stay open till 2011," said Mitra Raj Dawadi, president of the Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "The government should also understand the problems of the investors."

Similarly, Abinash, district deputy in charge of the UCPN (Maoist), said that the safari resorts should be removed because Chitwan National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site. He added that all the political parties had agreed that they should be shut down.

Nepali Congress district secretary Devendra Gurung said that the government should make public the negative and positive impacts of the resorts. The committee also met with hotel operators of Sauraha, Chitwan. They have requested the government to remove the resorts from the park.

"Every tourists is equal," said Hari Bhakta Ghimire, president of the Regional Hotel Association. "The hotels located outside the park are enough to provide accommodation and service to the visitors."

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