TOURISTS CAN ENTER THE NILGIRIS ‘RIGHT ROYAL’ WITH E-PASS.. PUBLIC PARKS WILL REMAIN OPEN..
(article in today’s The New Indian Express)
TOURISTS CAN VISIT PUBLIC PARKS IN THE NILGIRIS FROM TOMORROW
P S SUNDAR @ Coonoor
Two major developments in the unlock-4 phase in The Nilgiris will come into operation from Wednesday – tourists will be allowed to enter the district and public parks will be opened.
The Nilgiris Collector Innocent Divya clarified on Monday that only Public Parks like Government Botanical Garden in Ooty and Sim’s Park in Coonoor or those maintained by the horticulture department will be opened.
That means, the other picnic spots like Boat House will continue to remain closed.
She said that the decision has been taken by the Government to help the tourism industry which has been making representations for implementing measures for its survival.
“However, e-pass will continue to be in vogue. Now, a new clause has been introduced for ‘tourism’. Hence, people can apply for tourism as a reason for e-pass and they can enter the district ‘right royal’ as tourists”, she said.
“We will limit the number of e-pass being issued for tourists each day so as not to cause crowding. All those coming for tourism either by public transport or private vehicles will have to get e-pass sanction to enter the district”, she clarified.
Hotel and cottages can henceforth accommodate tourists also coming with e-pass. The number of days of their stay in The Nilgiris will depend on the validity of the e-pass duration.
On the contrary, residents of The Nilgiris need not apply for e-pass; instead, they can enter the district by showing their residential proof like Aadhar card.
The system of random testing for Covid-19 will continue at check posts. Soon, kiosks for tests will start functioning in vantage points, the Collector said.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prescribed for entry to the public parks will be strictly followed to ensure social distancing, wearing of face masks and washing hands with sanitizer etc.
She, however, advised people to travel only for necessary purposes.
The Monitoring Officer for The Nilgiris Supriya Sahu, who is also principal Secretary to Government, along with the Collector conducted a review meeting in Coonoor on Covid-19 management.
Supriya Sahu said that all those in containment zones should come forward to get tested.
She asked the officials to ensure that those in containment zones get all essential items.
She asked them to increase the number of Covid Care centres and encourage people to stay at home and get treatment wherever possible.
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