Puri: The sealing of 20 hotels in this pilgrim town, which were served closure notices by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) for operating without the mandatory ‘consent to operate’, began this morning even as 20 more hotels were served closure notice today.
The sealing is being carried out by the district administration in the presence of regional director of the OSPCB.
The hotels which are being sealed today are Pink House, Genesis Hotel, Radhika Resort, Hotel Dial Ring, Surya Beach Inn on Chakratirtha road, Hotel Tara, Omm, Marina Beach Resort, Hotel Grand, New Hotel Apollo, Mallika Bhawan on Sea Beach road, Hotel Nitai Kunj, New Malancha, Kajurina House, Taxibadi Lodging, Madan Jilla in Gouda Bada sahi and Hari Parbati, Chandrama and Hotel Surya Garden on Gopala Ballabhava road.
Over the last two days, guests staying in these hotels had been asked by the district administration through loudspeakers to vacate them by Friday
Tourists who had checked into these hotels and are now having to shift out in a hurry are a disgruntled lot .
Among the hotels served closure notice by the state pollution watchdog today are Saptrarshi, Amber, Sanero Cottage, Delight Star, Holiday House, Marina Resort, Radhika Krishna, Monihar Inn, Love & Life, Sairam, Akash International, C Palla Guest House, Swarna Dham Holiday Home, Parichay, New Shankar International, Deepak Hotel, Nilmadhav International.
Meanwhile, internally acclaimed sand artist and the brand ambassador of Odisha Tourism Sudarsan Pattnaik today met Ganagan Dhal, principal secretary of Tourism and urged him to intervene in the matter since the sealing is scaring potential tourists away from Puri.
Dhal assured him that he would take up the matter with the concerned authorities, including the Pollution Board, Sudarsan told odishatv.in.
Later in the day, Sudarsan also met Debadutta Biswal, member-secretary of the OSPCB, to make a case for steps to ensure that tourists are not inconvenienced.
“We have only written to the Puri district administration asking them to take steps for the closure of these hotels as per the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It is entirely for the district administration to decide on how to go about it,” Sudarsan quoted Biswal as telling him.
“The least the administration should do is to set a cut off after which these hotels cannot make fresh bookings. Those who have checked in should be allowed to stay for the period of their booking. Announcements over loudspeakers and ‘dengura’ and forcible eviction is causing a great deal of inconvenience to tourists, many of whom have come with families, besides scaring away potential tourists. There is no way a tourist can know beforehand which hotel is operating legally and which of them are being run illegally,” Sudarsan told odishastv.in.