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Price drive in Digha

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 7.08.12
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EYE ON FLEECING

Tamluk, Aug. 6: The consumer affairs department has started distributing leaflets to urge tourists in Digha not to pay more than the maximum retail price (MRP) for anything they buy on the beach.

“We have been organising camps regularly across Digha to urge tourists not to pay more than the MRP for a consumer item. The sustained campaign has helped us motivate several tourists,” said Dipak Kumar Samanta, the assistant director of the department of consumer affairs.

As part of the awareness campaign, large hoardings and banners alerting people about unscrupulous shopkeepers and hotel owners have been put up, he added.

Samanta said a meeting with hotel owners would be held early next month where they would be asked to report any case of a tourist being made to pay more for a room.

“It often happens that tourists, particularly those from outside Bengal, are charged Rs 700 to Rs 800 a night for a room whose rate is Rs 500. We need the hoteliers’ help to stop this kind of fleecing, mostly in unlicenced hotels,” Samanta said.

There are about 500 hotels in Old and New Digha.

According to Samanta, awareness against unscrupulous traders in Digha had to be stepped up because most tourists on holidays often end up paying more in a bid to avoid hassles.

Nearly 20 lakh tourists visit Digha every year from across the country, claimed Soumen Pal, the executive officer of the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority.

Behala resident Tapan Kumar Baidya, who had gone to Digha last month with his family, said: “During my stay in Digha with my family last month, I had to pay Rs 20 for a bottle of mineral water when the MRP was Rs 15. I didn’t want to pick up a fight with the shopkeeper,” Baidya said.

“Items such as biscuits, soap and bottles of aerated drinks are often charged more. This has to be stopped,” he demanded.