Express News Service
JAIPUR: Harassment of tourists will now be a cognizable offence in Rajasthan after the state assembly passed an amendment bill on Monday. In the amended Rajasthan Tourism Trade (Facilitation and Regulation) Act, 2010, Section ‘27-A’ has been added which makes misbehaviour with tourists a cognizable and bailable offence. However, if repeated, it will be a non-bailable offence under sub-section 4 of Section 13 of the Act.
Section 13 (3) says whoever commits subsequent offence of touting shall be arrested without warrant and, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment of up to three years or fine of up to Rs 30,000 or both. A person who engages in touting even after having been punished more than once shall be arrested without warrant and face jail up to seven years or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh or both.
Tourism is a key industry in Rajasthan with 1.6 million foreign and 45 million domestic tourists visiting it annually in pre-Covid times. But, tourists often have to suffer harassment and cheating by touts. “We are confident that this amendment will help check the menace of touts. We want tourists who come to our state to get a hassle-free experience at tourist attractions and that is the purpose of bringing in this amendment,” said Tourism Minister Govind Singh Dotasra. BJP’s Rajendra Rathore said though a provision has been made to remove beggars from tourist sites, there is no plan for their rehabilitation.