The tourism sector in Jharkhand’s Patratu Valley had picked up from November last year with tourists flocking the valley in large numbers to enjoy majestic views of hills and water sports at the Patratu lake. However, the second wave of Covid-19 has changed everything. The rising Covid-19 cases badly hit tourism in the valley.
According to local tourist operators, the famous Patratu Lake Resort has been opened for the public but there are hardly any tourists after the second wave. With tourists not visiting the valley, small-time restaurants, hotels, shops, water-sport owners and other small businessmen are facing a tough time making two meals a day.
According to locals, only 10-15 percent of the earlier tourist footfall is seen now. “Tourists reach the valley on Sundays, but the numbers are quite less,” said a local businessman.
“Fear of a third wave is keeping people away from the valley,” says a restaurant owner.
Around 150 boatmen are completely dependent on the tourists visiting the lake. One of the boatmen says, “Earlier we used to make anything between Rs 600 and Rs 1000 everyday but in the current situation it is difficult to earn Rs 300 a day.”
Raja Kumar, a restaurant owner, says, “It is becoming difficult to operate my business here. With people not visiting the place, we are running short of money to pay our staff.”
A local resident Waris Khan said people who are completely dependent on the lake for their source of income have been affected the most during the pandemic.
The Patratu Lake resort was opened for tourists in the year 2019. It was inaugurated by then Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das. Patratu Valley is a tourist spot for its scenic beauty. Located around 50 kilometers from the state capital Ranchi, it has been a weekend destination for many.
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