CHITWAN, July 26: Employees of the seven resorts whose lease term to operate inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP) expired last week have demanded that the government either provide them compensation or an alternative arrangement for livelihood.
The government has shut the operations of the resorts after their 16-year lease term expired on July 15.
Tiger Tops, Narayani Safari, Gaida Wildlife Camp, Chitwan Jungle Lodge, Island Jungle Resort, Machan Wildlife Camp and Temple Tiger resorts were operating inside the park.
“We want due compensation or alternative arrangement in terms of jobs if the resorts are to be closed,” said Som Lal Mahato, a worker at Tiger Tops Jungle Resort.
Ram Singh Gurung, who spent 48 years working for Tiger Tops, said workers would be compelled to launch protests if their demands are overlooked.
Tiger Tops, the largest and oldest resort of the country, had been employing around 200 workers. With the closing of the seven resorts total 3,500 workers have gone out of the job.
Despite pressure from environmentalists and locals, owners of the resorts had intensified pressure on the government for the past few weeks to extend the deadline to operate the hotels inside the country´s oldest national park, which has been listed as World Natural Heritage Site by the United Nations.
“We will resort to stringent protests and take to the streets if our demands are not met through peaceful ways,” said Uday Chandra Aryal, a leader of the protesting workers.