Hoteliers want the provision of compulsory environmental impact assessment for renewal scrapped

File: A small-scale hotel
File: A small-scale hotel

Kathmandu, December 21

Hoteliers in Nepal have demanded that the government discontinue the provision of compulsory environmental impact assessment for the renewal of their businesses citing it is not practical.

Officials of the Hotel Association Nepal, the umbrella organisation of Nepali hotels, say although they are okay with making the environmental impact assessment mandatory for the registration of new hotels, implementing the provision for already existing hotels, in particular of small and medium scales, is difficult.

The Environment Protection Act, 2019, and the regulations introduced to implement the act make the EIA mandatory for hotels having as few as 25 beds for their annual registration renewal.

Yuba Raj Shrestha, a HAN executive member, says many existing hotels in Nepal are in the immediate vicinity of heritage sites, which the new law forbids. “So, now, do we close all those hotels now?” he questions.

Meanwhile, a delegation of HAN met Bagmati Chief Minister Rajendra Pandey recently and said a problem was created as the government formulated and implemented the rule without consulting stakeholders, adding a huge investment is at risk currently.

The organisation has also been lobbying with the federal Department of Tourism demanding an amendment to the rule.

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