New Year at exotic locales: Forget about it

*          Many families decide to usher in 2017 in the city itself

*          Short on cash, they don’t know when Modi would make a new rule

 BHOPAL: The New Year is round the corner but the cash crunch has forced many of the city residents to drop their plans of welcoming 2017 at locales outside the state and the country. They would stay put in the city when 2016 becomes history.

Talking to Free Press Journal, Priyanka Guwalani, a teacher in DPS said, “Usually, we used to go to somewhere outside the city to celebrate New Year with friends and family. But this year, demonetisation has spoiled our plans. We have fixed December 22 for pre-New Year celebrations. We are not going out of town. One never knows when Modi will change this or that rule. He is so unpredictable. So, this time we are planning to celebrate the day at my mother’s home,”

“Is baar utna kuchh khas nahi hai. Every year, we used to go to some or the other tourist spot in the country for New Year. Last year, we went to Amritsar and Vaishno Devi. This year, we are staying back because of demonetisation. We will be going Goa with family on December 21 to celebrate Christmas and will be back before December 31). Pata nahi kab kya ho jaye (don’t know when anything can happen. Waise bhi, there is already cash crunch due to demonetisation,” said Ritika, a homemaker.

Aruneshwar Singhdeo, a politician said, “This year we are planning to celebrate New Year in a ‘Jungle’; I mean we will be off to Satpura National Park, Madhai and Denwa backwaters. Demonetisation couldn’t affect our plans because we had planned out the things in October only.”

“We are planning to celebrate New Year on the outskirts of Bhopal. Earlier, we used to travel out of the city. No doubt online payment facility is available but cash ki problem to hai. Earlier, we used to spend money without thinking but this year we’ll have to think twice before parting with currency notes,” Sneha Upadhyay, a beautician, said.  Archana Shewani, a model had this to say: “We always used to go to places like Shirdi but not this time and demonetisation is one of the reasons.”

Bookings down by 40%

“Due to demonetisation, bookings are down by 30-40 per cent. Generally people start making bookings by August-September but it picks up only in November-December. These bookings have been badly hit this year”, says Girish Kumar, a tour operator adding that, “There is facility of cashless payment but most of people are not much familiar with internet banking and Paytm”. But there is the proverbial silver lining to the dark cloud as with the slack in demand, holidays in Kerala and Goa have got cheaper, said another operator.

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