Ooty e-pass and rain: Businesses suffer, flower show uneventful

Shop owners say they are struggling to earn even Rs 5,000 this year. Representational image/Gibi Sam

Commercial establishments and businesses face setbacks after the e–pass system was launched in Ooty. Shop owners say they had spent hefty amounts to stock up their shops before the tourism season. However, now, they cannot earn even Rs 5000 a day. Some of these shops had been earning a daily income of Rs 25,000 – 50,000 in the previous years. There are 28 eight shops, between Nadukaani Valley and Nadukaani Junction, that sell Ooty tea leaves, dry fruits and other unique items. Most tourists who reach the various tourist spots in the Nilgiris often visit these shops too. During the season, these shops would be crowded with customers during the day and night. However, since the introduction of the e–pass system, these shops barely see any visitors.

Uneventful flower show
Those who had booked rooms in the city had to cancel the bookings in huge numbers as the e–pass was launched at the time of the iconic flower show, which is also the busiest season in Ooty. This has caused severe losses for those who are running resorts here on lease. Moreover, the flower show which was expected to draw at least 30,000 visitors in a day, too turned out to be pretty uneventful, as even half of the number didn’t turn up at the venue. It began on May 10 and is on till May 20, from 9 am to 7 pm. On Saturday, the Ooty train service was also suspended following heavy rainfall and rocks falling on the tracks near Kallar station. The administration has also requested tourists to defer their trips to Ooty till May 20 due to inclement weather.

Other than local residents and tourists who enter Ooty via government buses, everyone should mandatorily take e-passes to enter the hill station. Those planning to visit the spot before June 30 should apply for it on the e-pass website. Date of entry and exit, purpose of visit, address, number of passengers, vehicle and fuel type are the details passengers should enter on the website. The e-pass will have a QR code, which will be scanned at the entry points of Ooty and Kodaikanal.

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