Lack of basic amenities irks tourists

The boat race and dog show held on Sunday as part of 39th summer festival attracted many tourists to the hill station.

Organised by the Department of Tourism, the boat race for couples saw many participants. The dog show conducted by the Department of Animal Husbandry was impressive as tourists had a chance see different breeds of dogs. Similarly, the healthy baby contest and cookery contest organised under the Integrated Children Development Services scheme saw many participating enthusiastically. Prizes were given to winners at the end of the day.

Tourists also made use of the package tours offered as part of the flower show. Special bus services had been arranged from various parts of the district. Since the Ghat Road from Salem to Yercaud was made one-way, it helped reduce traffic congestion and avert accidents.

Though the organisers had taken pain to arrange all these facilities, they missed out on providing basic amenities. Unavailability of food at an affordable cost, lack of potable water and absence of adequate toilet facilities caused inconvenience to many tourists.

During the last season, the district administration had made arrangements to supply food packets at a reasonable price. In the absence of such a facility this year, the tourists were forced to depend on hotels and eateries that charged exorbitant price. “The cost of food is very high and no arrangement was made to provide drinking water. Packaged water bottles and beverages were sold at a price higher than the maximum retail price,” a tourist from Ammapet said.

Since most of the tourists came in two-wheelers, parking was a problem at many spots. Also, absence of direction boards and inadequate dustbins caused great inconvenience, S. Murugesan from Namakkal said.

The two-day season concluded with a display of fireworks in the park.