Gulmarg hoteliers urge LG to intervene for safeguarding their business

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, Dec 21: With the Government putting in place the new Land Grant Rules in J&K, the stakeholders, largely hoteliers, today urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene in the matter so that their businesses are saved for the larger interest of the economy of the Valley.
They said that the indulgence of the LG is necessary regarding the recent order of lease expiry of leased properties and pass the instructions immediately to the concerned authorities to take on board all the concerned lease-based property holders.
“There is a need for carrying out the necessary negotiations with the stakeholders concerning the matter and exploring viable options in the interest of the economy,” they said.
The stakeholders underlined that if the Government goes ahead with the orders which have been passed the businesses in J&K in particular and the economy in general would come to a grinding halt.
“Many small, medium, and large-scale business owners, shopkeepers, and other commercial institutions throughout J&K will suffer severe consequences if this direction is put into action,” they said.
Those who are set to be affected due to the new policy said that LG Manoj Sinha must consider this far greater and far-reaching implication, which, they said, can be minimized due to the timely and much-needed intervention of the Government.
“We have high hopes with the LG and we are confident that justice will be served to all J&K stakeholders as is urgently required; otherwise, the J&K UT economy will be irreparably damaged,” they said.
It may be emphasised that 58 of the 59 buildings, including hotels, restaurants, and other buildings, in Gulmarg will need to be shut down as per the new rules, because their lease has expired.
According to the stakeholders, if the government mandate remains unchanged, both the hotels and the families of all those employees would suffer immediate consequences, which will then have an impact on Kashmir’s tourism industry.
Under the new Land Grant Rules-2022, the LG-led administration in J&K has already announced that all departing lessees, except for those with active or expired residential leases, must immediately turn over their properties to the government or risk being evicted.
The Government has made it clear that the existing land laws in J&K were regressive and unfavourable to individuals following criticism of the rules, and that there was a need to amend these laws. Additionally, it was also claimed that the reforms were essential for UT’s peace and the welfare of future generations.