Darjeeling bid to end tout & taxi menace

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  • Published 26.03.07

Darjeeling, March 26: Hollering hotel touts and unreasonable taxi drivers who might have turned your holiday here into a nightmare could soon be things of the past.

It will be mandatory for all drivers to display the fare chart on taxis along with their driving licence, so that a tourist can haul them up in case of unruly behaviour or cheating.

“We will give the drivers some time to put up the fare chart, following which action will be taken,” Darjeeling district magistrate Rajesh Pandey said.

At a meeting with all those involved in tourism, the district administration decided that the touts — who have come together to form the Darjeeling Gorkha Hotel Travel Agent Association — will only work in tandem with police assistance booths to avoid a scramble for tourists’ luggage.

“The association will issue I-cards to the agents. The police booths will allow them to approach drivers, who might bring willing passengers to the booths to negotiate a deal,” Pandey said.

The administration has also decided to keep the office that issues foreigners permits to visit Sikkim open on Saturday and Sunday. It will be open between 11 am and 1 pm on those days.

“Touts are a big menace in Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri and it would be a welcome relief if restrictions are imposed on them,” local MLA Pranai Rai said.