Gas shortage hits Pokhara hotel business

Pokhara, September 30

Scarcity of the cooking gas has hit hotels hard in the Lake City.Hoteliers lamented that shortage of gas had led them to pull down their shutters.

Though the tourist flow has gone up to some extent, shortage of petroleum products such as gas, petrol and diesel has caused the businesses to close, hotel entrepreneurs bemoaned.

“We know people across the country do not have cooking gas, but it is shameful not to be able to feed tourists who have come here for a visit,” Bharat Raj Parajuli, Chairman of western regional Hotel Association said. He added that some hotels had started cooking with firewood to feed tourists. The association demanded that the government provide certain amount of gas and petrol considering that hotels are an essential part of tourism sector.

A team from the association today visited Kaski DAO and demanded that some special provision be made to ferry tourists from and airport and feed them.

Hari Prasad Sharma, Proprietor of Pokhara Village Resort said that if fuel was provided it would be easy to ferry tourists in groups. “Shortage of cooking gas has hit hoteliers rendering them unable to feed tourists,” Sharma complained.

Kaski CDO Krishna Bahadur Raut said that problem of cooking gas had become severe. He suggested firewood as an alternative. CDO Raut assured some concrete decision regarding the tourism in three days. He added that a decision had been taken to distribute fuel from four petrol pumps, including APF’s pump in Pokhara Sub-metropolitan City, Ranipauwa, National Trading pump, and western regional Oil Store for essential services only.

Raut added that hospital vehicles and ambulances were given priority for fuel distribution. Fuel crisis has caused traffic to thin in the streets of the Lake City.

Meanwhile, Pokhara chapter of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) today demanded that the government ease supply and arrange an alternative. Issuing a press statement, FNCCI Pokhara chapter General Secretary Rabindra Bahadur Praju urged traders not to create artificial crisis of goods and commodities.