Govt seals Centaur, takes over its possession; employees in lurk

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, June 15: Government last evening took over the possession of Centaur hotel and sealed the building after the Hotel Corporation of India violated conditions of the lease agreement.
An order issued by Tehsildar concerned said “it is hereby informed that the Centaur Lake View Hotel, Srinagar has been sealed today on 15th June, 2022, under J-K Public premises (eviction of unauthorised occupants Act, 1988) before me under my seal and signature. Therefore, no one is allowed to enter the main gate till further orders otherwise stern action shall be taken under prevalent law.”
A prior notice was served to the employees of the Centaur Hotel here in Srinagar in April this year, asking them to vacate the premises within 45 days from the date of issuing the eviction notice.
As per the notice, Government has charged the Hotel Corporation of India of violating conditions of the lease agreement by subletting the Hotel to a third party.
As per Cabinet decision No. 237 dated 25.06.1979, the then State Government vide Govt order No.118 of 1981 dated 17.10.1981 leased out a piece of land measuring 13 acres to the Hotel Corporation of India Pvt. Ltd. for a period of 99 years and accordingly a lease agreement was executed on 10.03.1982.
The terms and conditions in the agreement stipulated that the ownership rights over the structure on the land shall be equally held by the parties, the use whereof shall be determined by the parties by mutual undertakings and it was also agreed that for matters not covered by the agreement the laws of the J-K State will apply.
Many employees of Centaur Hotel are refusing to leave the premises of the Hotel after the Government decided to seal the building.
“The decision would render 160 employees jobless. We are not against the move, but the employees should also be owned by those who are going to take over the hotel,” said Fayaz Ahmad, president of Centaur Hotel Employees Union.
He said that despite the 160 odd employees they kept the hotel operational even in the toughest times over the past few years and generated a monthly revenue of Rs 1.5 crores which is expected to go up over the next few months.
“Despite this, we are not being appreciated or acknowledged but rather the Government has come up with such decision which will have a devastating impact on the employees”.
He asked Government to safeguard the interests of the employees of Centaur Hotel.