A large number of people visit the city of lakes, Udaipur, each year since it has such a rich history in terms of its architecture, lakes, heritage, food, etc. The city was closed to tourists during the COVID lockdown and immediately after. Locals were also not visiting the tourist areas due to restriction as well fear.. After this difficult phase, the city is finally experiencing a record-breaking year for tourism in 2022. Recently, the city's administration has created problems in various places that need to be solved as soon as possible.
Udaipur Nagar Nigam has recently sent a proposal for Gazette Notification onlevying traveller tax on guests staying at hotels and resorts in Udaipur. Because tourists choose to take lodging and boarding within the municipality area to ensure proximity to tourists spots, viz. Fatehsagar Lake, Ghats in the old city, City Palace,Pichhola, etc.the hotels and resorts in these areas are occupied most of the year. The situation could be different now since visitors will need to pay more for these hotels and resorts. The Nagar Nigam has requested a proposal for this tax in order to raise money for facilities management and development, mainly for tourists.
“If the Traveller Tax will be taken, hotel owners should provide the facilities, which are being promised to the tourists and also the hotel management should ask feedback on their services” - Shikha Saxena, Deputy Director of the Tourists Department.
Recently the Udaipur Nagar Nigam, adhering to guidelines of the Rajasthan High Court banned all the petrol and diesel boats in the city lakes. The operators had been told to replace these boats with those running on solar or battery or manual, with effect from1 October. Fatehsagar Lake is one of the most popular locations in Udaipur for boat tours. Tourists come in large numbers for boating at this lake; Fatehsagar is the heart of Lake City, which draws tourists from all over the world. The majority of people who go boating here are tourists, thus if boating is restricted, the tourists will leave disappointed. Bal Mukund Asawa, Secretary of the Urban Improvement Trust, issued an order requesting the removal of the boat after a six-month delay for the contract boat operators. According to Ashok Kumar, the boat operator of Nehru Garden, many people's financial livelihoods have been impacted since boating has been shut down. They were previously accustomed to receiving a daily salary, but now they are without anything and are suffering a great loss. “Used to make Rs 3000 daily, the food stalls along the lake today barely make any money.” - Ashok Kumar.
Bal Mukund Asawa, Secretary, Urban Development Trust, issued an order that forbade boating on Fatehsagar, however the corporation has not yet issued an order forbidding boating in Pichola. The corporation did not impose any restrictions or issue a final notice to cease them. All of the tourists leaving Fatehsagar at this time are turning towards Pichola.
Saheliyon ki Badi or the Saheliyon ki Badi is the lung of Udaipur. On one side of the road is a calm residential area, and on the other is one of the largest green zones within the city limits. This area is the lung of Udaipur. Earlier, Saheliyon ki Badi was the only section where traffic was an issue, which the administration has tried to solve to an extent. What is worrying, is the increase in traffic in the area due to other commercial development like the Udupi2Mumbai restaurant or Starbucks. Recently the entire road has become a dungeon of vehicle smoke and haphazard parking and driving due to these developments. The sides of the roads have become orphaned to those maintaining it and vehicles are parked all through the side of the road, narrowing down the driving zone tremendously. The commercial establishments seem to have taken these road sides as their personal property and are using it all they want, and in any manner they desire.
Nehru Garden used to be one of Fatehsagar Lake's charms, but due to low maintainance, it now gives a grim picture of negligence and nonchalance. There is no support available for the restoration of Nehru Garden. Neither the fountain nor the flowers have been maintained by UIT. Every time the UIT is questioned about maintaining the garden, they always respond within six months the work will start. When there was no entrance price and no tickets were required, there were more young people present at Ambrai Ghat. However, after the Devasthan Department submitted a bid on their behalf, revenue collection is now taking place here under the guise of an entrance fee.
Recurring news of raids on hotel properties in the city does not go down well in terms of the safety quotient for tourists. The guests that are already staying in such properties,no doubt go through a lot of distress. However, for others, even booking other hotels downtown becomes a concern.
The Udaipur administration is over promising and under delivering in terms of their commitments to tourist spots, be it the Toy Train at Gulab Bagh or the Musical Fountain or the renovation at the famed Jagdish Mandir. None of these tasks have materialised and only undelivered commitments are doing the rounds.