Hotels shut in Kashmir against ‘government Indifference’

download (1)RIYAZ UL KHALIQ

SRINAGAR

The Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA) Monday held a protest demonstration against the government move and closed down their hotels. “Sorry, we are Closed” banners are hanging at the entrances of the hotels in Kashmir on the first day of shutdown.

The Valley hoteliers are opposing installation of ‘Individual Sewage Treatment Plant’ in their premises.

Acting upon a recent High Court ruling, many hotels were closed in tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam.

Pertinently, at a meeting held recently, the coordination committee of Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association (KHARA), Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners’ Federation (KHAROF), and Pahalgam Hotels and Restaurant Owners Association (PHAROA), said that government is obliged to install Common STPs itself.

The hotel and restaurant owners had threatened to close down their hotels if the state authorities went ahead with their “suppressive policy” towards them.

“We have made it clear to the government and State Pollution Control Board that our industry will not install STPs. The government is obliged to install Common STPs under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) scheme to cover entire commercial and domestic sectors for the safeguard of environment,” Chairman Coordination Committee of KHARA and KHAROF, Faiz Ahmad Bakhshi had said.

“We demand that sealed hotels should be re-opend at Gulmarg and Pahalgam and urgent steps should be taken to prevent sealing of hotels at Srinagar and other places by adhering to the existing Government Policy under JNNRUM for constructing common STPs,” the protestors said.

Baskshi said the hotels, guest houses, restaurants, through universally accepted conventional system for treatment of effluent and sewage disposal, have in place the required self constructed septic tanks and soakage pits which through drainage and sewerage systems are connected with the community Sewage Treatment Plants (STP’S) in some areas.

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