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news details
Lease of 90% hotels has expired in Gulmarg'
10/10/2018 10:29:14 PM

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Oct 10: In a startling revelation, it has come to fore that 90% of the land lease agreement between government and the hoteliers in ski resort Gulmarg have expired with some people reportedly being in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without proper allotment.
One of the top officials of the government Wednesday informed this to early times correspondent that technically 90% of lease has expired and within a year remaining ten percent will expire. "Once granted lease can be extended upto 40 years and further it is extendable up to 10 years at the choice of government. However, majority of the hotels are running here without lease," reveals the official.
He said that thought the authorities have time and again issued notices to the hoteliers to vacate the land but due to political pressure it could not be for them the take action in this regard.
Sources reveal that hundreds of kanals of land in Gulmarg has been occupied by some people without any authority while others have stretched the original allotment to hundreds of kanals illegally.
Sources said that the occupants are maintaining that they are in possession of the land for several decades and the area stands developed by them on the strength of permission granted by then Town Area Committee.
It is to mention here that the State High Court had also directed the Government to strictly adhere to the procedures of land lease in Ski resort of Gulmarg so that no land is illegally occupied on the premises that have been grabbed for decades.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe had observed that there are persons who have no allotment of land in their favour and are in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without any authority of law.
Sources said that over the years those who were allotted a small portion of land have encroached upon hundreds of kanals of land.
Court had dismissed a petition filed by owner of one of the hotels seeking renewal of 98.11 kanals of lease land on the ground that similarly situated persons have not been evicted but only the petitioner has been signalled out.
The court had informed that the hotelier was only leased 2 kanals of land before 1970 but over the years they encroached more than 90 kanals of land. Similarly sources said that another hotelier has encroached 12 kanals of land in this famous tourist destination.
Sources said that the government has now directed the authorities to file details of all those cases where land has been given on lease and simultaneously has expired.
However one of the hoteliers here accepted that most hotels sit on land where leases have expired and past governments have been assuring a policy on renewal/ownership of such properties.
"In the year 2006-07 the tourist destination of Gulmarg was to be converted into ownership properties under Roshni scheme which was scuttled for obvious reasons", he said.
He said, "Several committees were constituted by successive regimes which was chaired by senior bureaucrats with sole aim on renewal policy of lease properties but no action towards this was ever taken by any government.
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