Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Hassle free stay for tourists, no touts allowed

In view of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the Federal government of India has asked state governments in the National Capital Region, comprising parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, to enact legislations on the lines of the proposed Delhi Prevention of Malpractices and Touting Bill, 2009, to make their areas tout-free and ensure hassle-free and safe movement of tourists during the mega sporting event in October.

Delhi government has issued mandate to allow only licensed operators to arrange tours in Delhi.

The Centre is bringing the Delhi Prevention of Malpractices and Touting Bill, 2009, designed with tourism-specific initiatives of the Delhi Government. The Tourism Ministry considered the draft in February and requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to take up the proposed Bill well ahead of the CWG. The Bill is with the Home Ministry after being approved by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tajender Khanna.

Sources say the legislation not only empowers the police to arrest touts but also has provisions for making them “out of bound” from the city for six months to one year. The Ministry of Tourism had written to the chief secretaries of three NCR states, asking them to consider the need for enacting similar legislations in their states “for the sake of hassle-free movement of tourists and provide them better safety”.

The government is expecting around one lakh tourists during the CWG and some estimates even peg the figure at two lakh. The proposed Bill mandates that touts fleecing shoppers, tourists and others face speedy trial. In fact, just a complaint by affected tourists will be enough for effecting an arrest, with the provision of imprisonment of one to two years, along with fine.


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