Hartal menace: Kerala tourism bodies to move contempt of court petition 

Around 500 people representing tourism, management and business communities carried out a silent protest march in Kochi against frequent hartals affecting their livelihood.

Published: 15th December 2018 02:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2018 02:47 AM   |  A+A-

Photo of an anti-hartal protest rally by people's movement conducted at Durbar Hall, Kochi (Photo | EPS/Melton Antony)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Aggrieved by the rising number of hartals that take a toll on the tourism sector, the trade and tourism bodies in Kerala have decided to move a joint petition in the High Court seeking to initiate ‘contempt of court’ proceedings against the parties and governments which fail to adhere to the court order of prohibiting hartals.

EM Najeeb, president, Confederation of Tourism Industry Kerala, told Express, “We have decided to approach the High Court as there is no logic in voicing our protest each time in the streets. Around 50,000 tourists were stranded in Kerala and a deserted city greeted 2,500 foreign guests. What kind of message these guests would pass to their fellow compatriots about Kerala once they are back home?" asked Najeeb.

READ | 97 hartals in a year: 'God's Own Country' brought to its knees

“It is high time the state acted as the tourism sector is bleeding each time  hartals are called," said Abraham George, member, National Tourism Advisory Council.

"We have been holding campaigns and tourism promo events abroad spending hundreds of crores of  rupees and each year we shut down the state for a hundred days a year. What kind of development and growth the law enforcers and the state government are putting forth?” he asked.

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said it is very shameful for the state. The state government has convened a meeting of various stakeholders recently with the view of exempting the tourism sector from hartals.

READ | BJP hartal affects normal life in Kerala

"It is time for all the political parties to do an introspection. Certainly, the state government will act. It cannot allow this to happen each year. Hopefully, there would be some holistic intervention from the part
of the government in the coming days", he said.

Protest march against frequent hartals

Kochi: While the hartal confined public to their houses on Friday, around 500 people representing tourism, management and business communities carried out a silent protest march here against frequent hartals affecting their livelihood.

Total number of hartals

In 2018 (Stats by Say No to Hartal)
(Local, district and state-wide)

Total - 97
BJP and affiliated outfits - 31
UDF - 23
Left - 17

In 2017

Total - 120
BJP and affiliated outfits - 47
UDF - 32
Left - 21

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