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‘Abandoned’ tourists forced to pay up

Sunday, 25 November 2012 - 5:21pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
If you plan to go for packages by travel companies, it would be in your best of interests to check their credentials. Or, chances are you might be left to fend for yourself midway despite having paid for the trip.

Headed for a tour? If you plan to go for packages by travel companies, it would be in your best of interests to check their credentials. Or, chances are you might be left to fend for yourself midway despite having paid for the trip.

A client who had opted for one such tour package had to pay for accommodation and sightseeing after the tour operator ‘abandoned’ them midway.

Shiv Ganga Travels, owned by Umesh Patel and Balkrishna Patel, had placed an advertisement on November 3 in local newspapers about tour package that included Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Mumbai and Goa.

The eight-day package was priced at Rs8,500 per head and was inclusive of food, sightseeing and accommodation.  Attracted by the advertisement, one Naresh Modi booked five tickets for his and his friend’s families.

They were to leave on November 15 from Pritamnagar in Paldi. While some amount was paid in advance, they paid the remaining amount while boarding the bus. The person who took the money from the 39 tourists got off at CTM crossroads ahead of Ahmedabad-Vadodara Express Highway.

When the bus reached Goa, the tourists were dropped at Mayur Agrona Resort, which is 20 km from Goa.

However, while checking out from the resort, the tourists discovered that the travel company had not paid for the accommodation. Left with no other option, they had to clear the dues. They called Umesh but his phone was switched off.  They managed to reach Goa with the help of Goa police and visited all places at their own expense. On returning, they went to the office of the travel company which was locked.

Modi then filed a cheating complaint against the travel company at Naranpura police station on Friday. So far two complaints have been filed in this respect.

Police expect more cases against the company to come to light. Naranpura police have registered a complaint against owners of the company and are searching for them.
 




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