Co-ordination meeting regarding various issues pertaining to tourism such as regularization of tourist taxi fares, online permit system, curb on sub-letting of tourism business, Nathula permit etc., was held on Friday at Paryatan Bhawan, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department (T&CAv), Government of Sikkim.
The meeting was chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary, T&CAv Department Shri. M.L. Srivastava and was attended by the P.C.E -cum-Secretary and other senior officers of the T&CAv Department along with representatives from line departments such as Motor Vehicles Division – Transport Department, Sikkim Police and NIC, President and executive members from local tourism stakeholders associations such as TAAS, SHRA, SUTO, ASHWA, CJAC Local Taxi etc.
The Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism emphasizing the importance of the meeting informed that the solutions to the present problems, arrived after the discussion and suggestion & feedback received from various line departments and stakeholders will be implemented on a serious note with due approval of the Government. Further, he requested that the revised taxi rates to be notified at the earliest and requested all the line departments and stakeholders to work in co-ordination to achieve the desired goals and to make the holiday experience in Sikkim more comfortable and a memorable one for the tourists.
Very useful suggestions came out during the meeting that will be duly taken into consideration and after seeking due Government approval will be implemented. There was a common agreement that there exists a problem of overcharging of taxi fares and needs immediate action on the part of the regulatory authorities, the travel agents, the taxi operators and one and all involved in the transportation and hoteling activities. The Police and Transport representatives also were very much forthcoming and expressed their views candidly. Other than the overcharging of taxi fare issues, the agenda points discussed thread bare are:-
1. Regularization of tourist taxi fares.
2. Display of taxi fares at various taxi stands/tourist spots.
3. Forming of Joint Committee to monitor tourist taxi fares
4. Sub-letting of Online Permit System
5. Payment of extra charges for Nathula Pass.
6. Sub-letting of Travel Agency /Homestays
7. Orientation programme for tourist taxi drivers
All the participants appreciated the initiative taken by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department and expressed their full cooperation. The meeting was held in an amicable manner and with a problem solving attitude. Over all it will help in meeting the objective of tourists’ friendly tourism experience in Sikkim.