Madhes agitation, blockade hitting hoteliers hard

Rautahat, December 16

The protracted Madhes agitation and blockade at border points have pushed hotels on the verge of closure in the mid-Tarai along the Mahendra/East-West Highway.

The four-month Tarai agitation and blockade at border points for the past 87 days have hit hoteliers the most.

Hotel Entrepreneurs’ Association Rautahat said lack of customers and soaring inflation had brought about a serious crisis for hotels.

Uday Sapkota, Hotel Association Rautahat Chairman said that decrease in the number of commuters due to low vehicular movement, acute shortage of cooking gas, and soaring prices of food stuffs had led many hotels to close down their shutters.

More than four dozen hotels in Chandranigahapur, Nijgadh, Hariwan, Lalbandi, Bardibas along the East-West highway are facing serious crisis, according to Sapkota. He added that many hotels had reached the point to closure due to inflation, shortage of goods and low or almost zero turnout of passengers.

Sapkota, who operates Uday Plaza Hotel in Chandranigahapur, said his hotel has been empty for many days for want of customers. “We cannot even feed customers if they come,” Uaday added. He said that staffers had quit due to closure of services.

No different is the situation of Hotel Himalaya Guest House at Chandranigahapur. The general strike and blockade have hit the hotel most.

Proprietor Surendra Sah said that bank interest was going up but he was not in a position to clear the debt as his hotel has been without customers for months.

“The Protracted shutdown and blockade at border points have broken the backs of hoteliers,” Sah complained.

Sah demanded that the government hold talks with the agitating parties and give relief to the general public. “The state has to focus on settling the problem sooner than later,” Sah demanded.