Shimla, June 13: Billing, a world famous tourist spot visited by thousands of tourists, is in a state of neglect. It lacks all basic amenities like toilets, drinking water and place to sit for tourists. Billing had hosted first International Paragliding World Championship in October last year.Though the state government had spent over Rs 9 crore last year on its development, nobody knew where the money was utilised.
The state Tourism Department even failed to provide toilets to visiting tourists.The road leading to Billing was metalled a year ago but now it is full of potholes making it difficult for commuters to drive.The tourist season is in full swing and hundreds of tourists visit Billing daily to enjoy paragliding, but they are forced to buy mineral water at an exorbitant price. In additions to this, there are no proper parking facilities for the vehicles.
“Billing is also a favourite trekking spot for tourists coming to the Kangra valley. Hundreds of foreigners trek through Billing to the snow-covered place every season,” said Harmit Singh, head of travelling agents.Jyoti, wife of an Army officer from Delhi, said she had come with family but there was not even single bench to sit.Rain shelters, constructed by spending lakh of rupees two years ago by the department, had lived its life, flooring and roofs and sitting area is in bad shape.
Solar lights, installed last year, are not seen anywhere in the absence of maintenance. Several organisations demanded that the state government must tell where Rs 9 crore was utilised.The People’s Voice, a social body of Kangra district, asked the state government to bring a white paper on the development of Billing and apprise the public where the money was spent and why it had failed to install even a single toilet at Billing.
A senior officer of the Tourism Department said when this amount was spent, he was not posted here. He admitted that Billing needed attention of the authorities. He said the matter had been conveyed to the government time and again but no funds were released.
Source Tribune India