A day after the Administrative Council announced a new ‘Houseboat Policy’, owners of the houseboats on Thursday alleged that it was biased. They urged the government to revoke the policy and draft a new one in consultation with the stakeholders, reported The Tribune.
“We express deep resentment over the Houseboat Policy, which was formulated by the team of Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu. The policy has sent shockwaves through the houseboat community. Such decisions are totally biased in nature without hearing the plight and views of the houseboat owners and not taking them into confidence,” newspaper The Tribune quoted Hamid Wangnoo, chairman, Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association as having said.
Under the new guidelines, no new houseboat will be allowed to be constructed on the Dal and Nigeen lakes. Also, the houseboats owners will be able to register and renew their houseboats only after fulfilling some conditions.
Wangnoo urged the administration to revoke the policy immediately. He said: “We appeal to the Lieutenant Governor to look into the matter and have a proper consultation with the main stakeholders.”
The houseboat association also questioned the timing of the announcement of the policy, saying they were yet to recover from the last year’s lockdown.
“This is not the right time to formulate such policies when our families are desperate for help due to the ongoing crisis and the decline of tourism post-August 5 (last year after the abrogation of Article 370). We have always given our utmost corporation when it comes to saving the lake,” The Tribune quoted Wangnoo as having said.