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news details
20 yrs on, Pahalgam hotels run without lease
9/25/2017 11:10:36 PM

Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report
PAHALGAM, Sept 25: Influential hoteliers continue their operations illegally at this famed tourist resort, as their lease agreements with the government have expired 20 years ago.
According to official details, in 1955 the Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad-led government leased out 1000 kanals of land to some private parties for a period of 40 years for undertaking construction of hotels and guest houses to create accommodation facilities for visiting tourists.
Though the lease of these hotels expired in 1997, since then the successive governments have failed to renew it as many hoteliers enjoy proximity with political parties.
Sources said that hoteliers in violation of the norms have even encroached upon land. "Without any lease agreement, the hoteliers have managed to increase the bed capacity of their hotels," sources said.
"They provide rooms and food to officers free of cost during peak season to manage their illegal business," they added.
In its eight meeting held earlier this year, the Pahalgam Development Authority revealed that over 53 kanals of state land has been occupied by 74 parties who have established commercial structures in the shape of hotels, restaurants and shops.
"They have neither renewed their lease deeds nor are they paying rent," Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who chaired the meeting was informed and requested to issue directions for the timely settlement of the issue.
The PDA officials pleaded that the present rent structure is not in consonance with the prevailing market value of the land, which needs to be reviewed so that fresh lease deeds are executed between the parties as per the revised rates.
They said that during the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag was directed to constitute a committee and submit the findings to government for further course of action.
When contacted by Early Times, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Mohammad Younis Malik who took over last month assured appropriate action.
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