Authorities finally act against ‘influential’ hoteliers at Pahalgam


ANANTNAG: Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) Saturday demolished several illegal structures built within the premises of many big hotels at Pahalgam in this south Kashmir district.
The development followed the series of news stories carried by Kashmir Reader about the selective demolitions being carried out by PDA during its ongoing demolition drive.
Official sources said that PDA’s demolition squad razed to ground the illegal structures constructed by some “rich and influential” hoteliers.
“Besides removing the wooden paneling of several rooms in hotel Hill Top, the officials also demolished a huge structure that was built legally in backyard of the hotel,” they said.
The demolition squad also demolished the illegal structures erected in the premises of hotel Dolphin near the golf course, they said, adding that the construction material from the hut Wooden Breeze in Circuit Road area was also seized.
They said it was for the first time in the recent months that PDA acted against “big and influential” hoteliers around the famous tourist spot.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PDA M Y Bhat told Kashmir Reader that they have identified “some other big hoteliers” who have resorted to violations.
“We will serve notices to these violators within two days, asking them to demolish the big or small structures on their own. If they ignore our warning, we will act against them too,” he said.
“Nobody violating the HC order will be spared,” the CEO added.
Meanwhile, the locals demanded action against all big hoteliers involved in violations in the area.
“Many ‘big guns’ having carried out major repairs of their hotels or erected fresh structures by misusing the permissions granted for minor repairs.,” Ghulam Nabi, a local, told Kashmir Reader.