Centaur Hotel – Government Vs Government

Centaur Hotel built in 1985 was leased out to Hotel Corporation of India(HCI) for a period of 99 years but right now entangled in legal battle between two Government bodies. Right from it’s opening till June 2022 it has not closed for even a single day. J&K Government’s contention is breach of contract as this Hotel was sublet in 2010 to DB Reality. Counter allegation by HCI is that Government itself broke the contract as it was supposed to host all guests of Sher-i-Kashmir Convention Centre but since 1989 this has been violated time and again. Centaur Hotel is witness to historic moments like 2005 Muzaffarabad bus service for which Pakistani delegation came and stayed here or PMs and Presidents staying here time to time or virtual prison for Politicians after abrogation of Article 370 when 40 rooms were booked. In 2012 when DB Reality and Centaur contract was stalled by employees, then CM Omar Abdullah issued an order to take over the hotel along with 160 plus employees. Ten years later Hotel Centaur stands sealed and in bitter ping pong style legal fight, Supreme Court maintaining status quo to let HCI file case in J&K High Court and now HC granting status quo again till committee formed will decide the future course of action. HC rightly observed why two Government organisations are fighting legal battle on tax payers money. Government had also taken back Hotel Ashok at Jammu but has done nothing at that place till now. Tourism Department is outsourcing many of its tourist location restaurants to third party. So the question arises if Department is not able to run its own hotels or do nothing with already acquired Hotel Ashok then why lease contract of 99 years terminated after only 40 years which is against set business rules. Administration is trying hard for investors to invest in J&K but setting bad precedent for future investors, who will believe same will not happen to them in future? What about future of employees? Issues are serious enough to be sorted out immediately.