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Sikkim govt forms committee to probe high taxi and permit rates

By Nitesh R Pradhan
Sikkim govt forms committee to probe high taxi and permit rates

AT Photo

Sikkim, May 21: The Sikkim government has constituted a committee to investigate complaints regarding excessive rates charged for taxis and travel permits by tour operators, according to officials.

This decision comes in response to concerns raised through the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CP-GRAMS).

In a meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary of the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, C.S. Rao, the issue of overcharging tourists was a primary focus. Rao emphasised the necessity of monitoring and preventing such practices to maintain fair pricing. He also highlighted the importance of strengthening the department’s grievance cell and providing helpline numbers for immediate assistance and resolution of issues.

Rao underscored the need for the Tourism Department to review and enforce rate charts provided to tour operators and travel agencies to prevent overpricing. He urged these companies to adhere to the established rates and ensure quality service for tourists.

Principal Chief Engineer Neeraj Pradhan announced the establishment of a redressal cell at Nathula, which will function as a facilitation centre operated by the department. He detailed ongoing projects aimed at enhancing tourist safety and their overall experience in the state.

Additional Secretary Bandana Chettri encouraged tourists to utilise the department's official website ( to book tours through registered travel agencies, ensuring the authenticity and reliability of these services.

Deputy Director of the Permit Cell, Sonam Rinchen Bhutia, advised tourists to obtain permits through local travel agencies at least one day in advance and to acclimatise to higher altitudes for a safe and enjoyable visit.

The meeting concluded with representatives from various stakeholder groups, including the Tourism and Allied Service Providers Association of Sikkim (TAAS), the Association of Sikkim Tour Operators (ASTO), and others, emphasising adherence to regulations and prioritising tourist safety to ensure a seamless experience for visitors.

Attendees included Principal Chief Engineer Neeraj Pradhan, Additional Secretary Bandana Chettri, Deputy Secretary Chunkula Bhutia, Deputy Director Permit Cell Sonam Rinchen Bhutia, and various stakeholder representatives such as TAAS President Sonam Norgay Lachungpa and General Secretary Ramesh Basnett, among others.

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