Forest fires take a toll on popular tourist hotspots of Uttarakhand

In the forests near Kausani, a fire broke out on Friday afternoon, engulfing the surrounding area in flames.
Forest fires take a toll on popular tourist hotspots of Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: Forest fires in Uttarakhand have dealt a significant blow to the state’s tourism, especially impacting popular destinations like Kausani, Almora, Binsar, and Kasar Devi.

Nearly 60 percent of tourists have cancelled their bookings due to the devastating fire incidents in these picturesque locations, which are favoured by domestic travellers. However, despite these setbacks, the religious pilgrimage of Chardham Yatra remains unaffected by the reports of forest fires.

In the forests near Kausani, a fire broke out on Friday afternoon, engulfing the surrounding area in flames. Bablu Negi, President of the Kausani Hotel Association, expressed frustration over the delayed response from authorities despite alerts being raised promptly.

He mentioned that 60 percent of tourists from Lucknow and the NCR have opted to cancel their plans to visit Kausani, Baijnath, and Bageshwar, citing the uncertain situation caused by the fires.

Concerns over the impact of these incidents were echoed by Arun Verma, President of the Almora Hotel Association, who emphasised that the media coverage has further exacerbated the situation. He reported significant cancellations of bookings in popular spots like Kausani and Binsar, affecting tourists from Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Kolkata.

Verma highlighted the urgent need for the Uttarakhand government to take decisive action to combat the recurring forest fires. He stressed the necessity of equipping mountainous districts with adequate firefighting manpower and helicopters, given the severity and frequency of these incidents each year.

Despite these challenges, the Chardham Yatra has continued to draw pilgrims undeterred, with over 23 lakh visitors embarking on their spiritual journey to the sacred shrines in just over a month.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com