Express News Service
SALEM: The livelihood of vendors and hoteliers in Yercaud dependent on tourism has been hit again — this time the blame is on the rain. Only a few months ago, tourists were allowed to visit the hill station after the pandemic-induced lockdown was relaxed, providing them with a reason to smile. But, the recent rain made it difficult again.
The district witnessed incessant rain from November 1, three days before Deepavali. Due to this, tourists, who usually visit Yercaud, did not turn up. Further, landslides took place in both routes to reach Yercaud from Salem which hit the movement of vehicles, especially heavy vehicles. Following these, the district administration cautioned tourists to avoid coming to Yercaud.
Speaking to TNIE, Logeswaran, a resort manager, said, “Every year during Deepavali, people come in large numbers to Yercaud and celebrate the festival. But this year, the rain started to pour three days before the festival and it continued. On the festival day, a landslide took place in Yercaud and disturbed the traffic flow. Due to this, 99 per cent of hotels, resorts and lodges remained vacant for over a week. The rain continued and the hotel business was completely affected. However, now for the past two days, only tourists from other states and districts are inquiring about the availability of rooms.”
Bhuvana who runs a snack stall near the Yercaud lake said, “November is the month of rains. But, usually, there will be a break for three or four days a week and it will attract more tourists. This year, the rain continued for the past three weeks without a break. More than 50 roadside snack shops function in Yercaud town and we earn around Rs 500 per day. This time, we all have been losing our business for the past three weeks.”
Residents too said their livelihoods were affected due to the rain. Rajesh, a resident of Yercaud, said, “During landslide, heavy vehicles were not allowed to Yercaud. At that time, vegetables came in small vehicles and because of this, vegetable prices increased to 50 per cent and people suffered a lot.”
The hill station recorded a total of 36 cm of rainfall in three weeks.