Khajuraho, the biggest attraction of the state of Madhya Pradesh which is known as the World heritage group of the 11th century monuments, left its tourist in a fix as guides and traders went on an indefinite strike on Wednesday 7th August, 2019.
The township lacks proper connectivity routes due to which traders and guides went on a strike as they protested against the lack of rail and air connectivity to Khajuraho which hampers tourist inflow. It rose to being one of the leading concerns amidst those whose livelihood majorly depends on the tourism industry.
By the second day of the strike on Thursday, tourists were severely affected. All trading establishments, which included eateries and even roadside kiosks remained closed, thereby making even bottled water inaccessible, let alone food and other facilities. The guides were also missing in action. Foreign tourists were captured trying to get water from a local hand pump.
The representative of the Khajuraho Guides’ Association, Narendra Sharma said that only one AirIndia flight flies to the city thrice a week and a private airline operates flights during the peak season which is October to March.
Sharma said- “For the rest of the year, there is a huge problem about bringing in tourists as most of them do not want to wait for two days to get a flight. Also, the rail connectivity is very poor and this further hampers the inflow.”
He added that 2-3 years ago better connectivity prevailed as AirIndia operated a daily flight. This brought in about 1.2-1.3 lakh domestic tourists and 75,000-80,000 foreign tourists into the township almost every year as per ticket sales. However the tourism industry has witnessed a slump of about 30% going by the figures.
On Thursday evening, the regional manager of the MP Tourism, Mahesh Kumar Samadhia, reassured them on behalf of CMD of Air India, Ashwani Lohani (who was earlier MD of MP Tourism) that a daily flight would be operating to Khajuraho, October onwards.
He also said that even though the agitators have welcomed this development, the demand for better rail connectivity stands strong and that they would plan their further move on Friday.
Do you wish to visit Khajuraho but does the lack of proper connectivity prevent you from heading here? Let us know in the comments below!