Amid Coronavirus scare, the natives of Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti in the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti, have taken to social distancing from outsiders.
In an emergency meeting called by the villagers of Kaza including the panchayats, hoteliers, homestay owner’s on Sunday, a uniform consensus was reached to close all hotels, homestay in their area till May end as a precautionary measure.
It was decided not to entertain any tourists, migrant laborers, or other outsiders including skilled manpower for the construction of private and commercial buildings and houses.
A 12 member committee has been constituted to get the monitor and ensure the decision implemented.
Kaza Hoteliers Association President Narender Rana said, “In wake of the demand of the locals, it was decided to restrict the entry of the outsiders excluding government officials. The situation will be reviewed from time to time and maybe lifted earlier if things improve or can be extended further in case the Coronavirus scare persists or worsens.”
“Even as the decision is taken by the natives within Kaza, however, a general agreement has also been reached to hold the next meeting for pan Spiti consensus. Intimation has been sent to the five monasteries, lambardars of the villages in Spiti for the next meeting,” he added.
“Those visitors putting up at Kaza have been asked to leave the place within three days,” said Tanzin proprietor of Lakdor Home Stay Kaza, adding that those tourists who already have bookings have been intimated to cancel or postpone their plans to visit the area till a further decision is taken.
Most of the bookings for the Hotels and Homestays are for the period between May-June, he informed.
Agriculture and Tribal Development Minister Ram Lal Markanda who is also the legislator from the Lahaul and Spiti has directed the district administration to restrict the movement of foreign tourist and Nepali nationals till May, in wake of the coronavirus fear.
The Himachal Pradesh government has already ordered to close down educational institutions including schools, colleges, and universities across the state till 31 March.
It has also announced the closure of cinema halls and also putting on hold fairs and festivals to discourage social gatherings.
A total of 1, 32,983 tourists had visited Spiti in 2019 out of which 14,948 were foreigners and 1,18,035 were domestic tourists.