At 31, Mohali has most illegal travel agents in Punjab; UT has 22
The Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Rules, 2013 makes it mandatory for all travel agents or those running ticketing or consultancy business to register with the government.Updated: Jul 31, 2019 09:19 IST
With the ministry of external affairs (MEA) releasing the list of illegal travel agents in the country on Tuesday, Mohali has topped the Punjab list with 31 illegal travel agents out of 76 in the state, while Chandigarh’s figure is 22. Punjab is third among states in the country after Maharashtra (86) and Delhi (85).
As per records, Mohali police, on an average, receives five complaints against travel agents daily, but fly-by-night operators continue to make hay by feeding on foreign dreams.
In Chandigarh, there are around 50 travel agencies, which are approved by International Air Transport Association, and UT administration has no provision for their registration.
After the release of the list, Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan said, “We will first issue the firms notices, asking them to comply with the norms within a month, failing which strict action will be taken.”
He said there is a list of 320 approved travel agents on the website (sasnagar.nic.in) and people must first check the registration number of an immigration firm or travel agent before proceeding further.
The Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Rules, 2013 makes it mandatory for all travel agents or those running ticketing or consultancy business to register with the government. Those who have been in the trade for over five years have to pay a licence fee of ₹1 lakh and those who have not completed five years have to pay Rs. 25,000. There should be no criminal case pending against the immigration agent when he or she applies for the licence. The Act has a provision of a maximum of seven years of imprisonment and fine of up to Rs. 50,000 for violation of the law or human trafficking.
The registration number makes it easy for any investigating agency to trace the actual owner of the firm. Location of its offices and staff members’ identities are also available with the district administration. In case of violation of norms, the registration of the consultancy firm and travel agent can be suspended or even cancelled.