Nepal has suspended its mountainous resort license for three months due to poor security management and management weakness at the hotel, where media reports have reported that eight Indian tourists, including four minors, died of possible suffocation.
A group of 15 tourists from Kerala were hit by a tragedy when eight of them died of possible suffocation on January 21 after they passed out, probably due to a gas leak from a heater in their room in a mountainous resort in the Makwanpur district ,
The tourists were flown here to the HAMS hospital, where they were declared dead on arrival. Police in Makwanpur said the victims may have passed out from suffocation.
The Nepal Ministry of Tourism issued a three-month ban on the Everest Panorama Resort in Daman on Sunday, based on a report by a committee of inquiry set up to investigate the deaths of Indian tourists from Kerala, the Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.
The department decided to close the resort because the report submitted by an investigative committee indicated poor security management and weakness in the resort's management for the incident.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had formed the investigative committee under Surendra Thapa, the director of the tourism department. After a field inspection, the committee had submitted its report a few days ago, pointing out the shortcomings of the resort.
During the investigation, the committee found that the resort had not followed the recommended security measures and was providing inferior services to its guests, the Himalayan Times reported.
The committee also found that the resort had failed to meet DoT's criteria for being classified as a “resort”.
Mira Acharya, director of DoT, was cited in the report that the resort's operations have been suspended pursuant to section 15 of the 1979 Tourism Act.
"If the owner of the resort wishes to resume service after a three month hiatus, the resort should be upgraded in accordance with the 1981 Hotel, Lodge, Restaurant, Bar and Tour Guide Rules and also meet the criteria set out in a Nepal Gazette's published notice is listed under the "Hotel Classification and Criteria," said Ms. Acharya.
She added that the resort would also need to undergo an environmental impact assessment in order to get DoT approval to restart.
In the meantime, the resort management has announced that it will work to meet the standards set by the department and operate the resort efficiently.
"We will work to meet the standards set by the department and operate the resort efficiently. We are saddened by the tragic incident. We will ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future," said Sudesh Gautam, the operator of the resort was quoted by the Kathmandu Post.
The group headed home after their trip to Pokhara – a popular mountain destination – and stayed at the Everest Panorama Resort in Daman.
Those who were killed were Praveen Krishnan Nair, his wife Saranya Sasi and their three children, and Ranjith Kumar Adatholath Punathil, his wife Indu Lakshmi Peethambaran Ragalatha and their son.
Everest Panorama Resort was founded 28 years ago in Daman Simbhajyang, a tourist destination in the province of Bagmati. Tourist numbers have dropped after the tragic January 27 accident, according to the Thaha Hotel Association.