Against Rs 5500 per day rent, forces pay just Rs 170 in Centaur Hotel

KL Report

SRINAGAR

At the time when state government is mulling to vacate the government building occupied by forces, 16 rooms have been occupied by forces since 1990 in Centaur Hotel, paying Rs 170 per room against the actual cost of Rs 5500.

Reports informed KNS that with the onset of militancy in 1990 the CRPF occupied 50 rooms at Centaur Hotel and later vacated 34 rooms. However, 16 rooms are still occupied by the central forces who pay the rent of Rs 170 per day against the actual Rs 5500.

Reports added that the battalion is camping at a prime space of the hotel, making the normal tourist business suffer. “Tourists are mostly reluctant in staying on that side of the hotel which has been occupied by the forces. It is a prime place with an aesthetic view. The rates which the forces pay on per day basis are much less that even electricity charges consumed in these rooms. The hotel pays Rs 1,50,000  as electricity dues in the rooms per month where forces stay. Surprisingly, till date the charges for the rooms have not been paid by the CRPF so far, it is the hotel which is bearing the brunt,” one of the officials of the Hotel pleading anonymity told KNS.

Meanwhile, there is another battalion of the CRPF which is stationed in camps in the outer lawns of the Hotel.  The forces stationed there have been assigned the task to guard the DIG CRPF. Officials in the Hotel said that the forces personnel urinate, wash clothes and the wastes directly go in Dal waters, polluting what everyone mulls to protect.

The Hotel staff added that not only the tourists shy away from staying to that side of the hotel but the dogs with the CRPF men have unleashed terror in the entire area.

Meanwhile, when contacted the general manager Centaur Syed Shafat Hussain told KNS over phone that the Hotel administration has taken up the matter with the state government and in fact had written also to the administration, asking it to take measures. “We had also asked the state government and the concerned authorities that CRPF personnel want to stay in the hotel, they should stay as the normal guests, paying the normal charges but so far there has been no reply to our pleas,” he added.

IG CRPF K S Bandari said forces personnel deployed in the Hotel are stationed there to guard the entire complex from militant attack. When asked about the rent being paid by the forces there, he said, “I would verify the details before making any comment over the claims.”

Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had recently assured tourism players to evacuate all hotels in Srinagar city that have been currently occupied by security forces.

However, Bhandari had said, “Nobody has officially approached us regarding this matter till now. But before coming to us it is a responsibility of the state government to provide us with a suitable alternative. Until and unless the government will not provide the alternative accommodations to our troops it is not possible for us to vacate hotels.”

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