EYESORE AT NEPAL ENTRY: A signboard of the Tourist Information Office in Belahiya,the border entry point to Rupandehi district.
BHAIRAHAWA: Despite a lot of preparations for bringing in a million tourists during the Nepal Tourism Year-2011, tourism authorities and other stakeholders here seem to have missed a chance to make a lasting impression on foreign tourists.
A dilapidated signboard of the Tourist Information Office in Belahiya in the district is a case in point. “I feel sorry looking at the pitiable condition of the board,” said an Indian national from Rajasthan, Raj Kishor Singh.
Singh had some suggestions to all concerned, and this included maintenance of the signboard without delay and cleanup of the area.
The board has become an eyesore for other foreign guests as well. Though the government and the local Chambers of Commerce and Industry have pledged to construct a gate on the Belahiya border, the authorities have not bothered to repair the board and keep the area clean.
Ramesh Thapa, Chairman of the Samudaik Sewa Samaj, Belahiya, expressed dissatisfaction over the authorities’ indifference. “The authorities and other stakeholders do not seem to be concerned about winning tourists’ hearts at the entry point itself. They have also not bothered to launch tourism promotion activities in Belahiya,” he said.
Mahendra Kumar Shrestha, Chairman of Siddharthanagar Chambers of Commerce and Industry, demanded that the signboard be replaced without delay, while Rajan Rai, Chief of the Tourist Information Office, admitted they could not repair the signboard for want of budget. “We are ashamed at the sorry state of the signboard. We will repair it now by collecting donations,” said Rai.