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CWG 2010 - Delhi is game for all


Apart from planning education initiatives, the govt is issuing clear guidelines to tour operators
May 16, 2010 17:38
Tags : CWG 2010 |Commonwealth Games |Olympics Game |MCDs | |

 CWG 2010 - Delhi is game for all PK Tripathi 

Principal Secretary, Tourism, Delhi Govt 

India has been in the news of late because of the upcoming Commonwealth Games that are to be held in October this year. Most of this publicity stems from news reports highlighting the tardiness in the preparations for the Games. I would like to make it very clear that we are not late. We should understand that weather conditions don’t permit you to be ready in advance. Imagine how the stadiums would look if they were ready by now. We would have had to rework on everything. The actual targets were set with a pessimist view, keeping in mind the numerous roadblocks like getting clearances from a number of authorities. 

India is a democratic state and provides freedom to its press, which is why the media has managed to create such a hue and cry over the delay in the preparations. China too faced similar issues in the months leading up to the Olympics Games but strict impositions on the media ensured nothing negative was highlighted. The government has to manage various departments and this can only be achieved when all the authorities work in synchronisation. The government’s plan to make Delhi an ideal tourism destination can be achieved by regulating various bodies and providing ample safety measures for tourists and the people of this city. In fact, the government, in tandem with the national tourism department, is planning to issue a list of dos and don’ts for tourists during the Commonwealth Games.

To tackle the issue of security and to provide convenience and instant information to tourists, the Delhi Tourism Board in association with MCD is planning to set up kiosks at stadiums, stations, airports, shopping malls and game sites. Tourists should be able to enjoy their stay in the city and other parts of the country peacefully and without the fear of being troubled or harassed. One must also realise that India is not the only country in the world where tourists are subjected to harassment. Tourists are soft targets everywhere. In fact, even Indians travelling abroad face the same problems. The intensity of the crime perhaps differs in different countries. On the other hand, one cannot deny that the problems tourist face have increased and become quite a menace in recent times. A common myth here is that a white-skinned person is rich and willing to pay any amount demanded of him for anything. In order to stop such incidents, the government is working toward norms that can be easily implemented and executed by everyone. In India, tourists commonly face problems at the hands of hawkers, autorishaw drivers, tourists guides, shopkeepers, etc. Hence, there is a need for stringent rules and regulations so that such untoward incidents can be controlled or eradicated. In order to achieve this, education has to be imparted at the lower levels and especially for tourism operators, hawkers, guides, autorickshaw drivers and shopkeepers, who deal with tourists on a daily basis. This would go a long way in making India a tourist hotspot.

Apart from planning education initiatives, the Delhi government is issuing clear guidelines to tour operators too. The government has formed a body that will regulate them at every level. Tour operators will have to register themselves with the department so that records can be maintained, and the guides can be monitored to ensure no untoward incident occurs and that the tourists do not face any problems. The anti-touting Bill has already been presented in the Parliament and will be implemented soon. It has been created to make things easier and better not just for global tourists, but also for our fellow countrymen. Moreover, in order to provide safety and a family like atmosphere, the Delhi government and the tourism department are introducing a Bed and Breakfast scheme. It would also help tourists learn more about Indian culture. This exposure would help misconceptions the tourists might have about India and its people. Rather, in this case, Indian homes providing the scheme will have to follow stringent rules to ensure that any mishappening does not occur. It will only succeed if it is promoted well and regulations are strictly adhered to. 

Various transport organisations, public and private, are helping the government in its Commonwealth Games preparations by installing GPRS systems in their buses and taxis for the convenience of tourists so that they can be aware of their surroundings. However, it will be a few months before this scheme is successfully implemented. The Delhi government has also recruited about 25,000 young volunteers across the city to guide tourists during the Games. The department also plans to implement integrated tickets which can be used in metro, bus or trains. There is no need to worry, we are on track and work will be completed in time. Factors like unpredictable weather may hamper the preparation work but not the spirit. To make Delhi a world class tourist destination, various departments have to work together. Moreover, all this can be achieved only when the regulations are implemented and followed by both the government and the people. These measures will not only help the government but more importantly also refurbish India’s image around the world.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017