Now, PDA gives ‘proper procedure’ window influential hoteliers

ANANTNAG: After demolishing dozens of illegal structures without any prior notice in different areas of its jurisdiction in this south Kashmir district, the Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has started following “proper procedure” to act against the erring but influential hoteliers.
The insides in PDA told Kashmir Reader on Wednesday that notices have been served to “rich and influential” hoteliers who have carried out renovation or major repairs of their hotels by misusing the permission granted to them for minor repairs.
“PDA authorities in last over a couple of weeks razed to ground many illegal structures belonging to locals without issuing any prior warning to the owners. But in case of politically influential hoteliers, the PDA has adopted a proper procedure of serving them the notices first,” they said.
An official who was part of PDA’s committee for identification of violations said the authorities have proved that “they are helpless before the influential hoteliers.”
“While trying to identifying the violations, we found at least five big hotels that had been renovated or repaired in violation of the High Court directive. But the authorities did not dare to touch any of them. Now, they are being served notices as an attempt to silent the critics of PDA’s selective demolition drive,” said the official.
Chief Executive Officer of PDA M Y Bhat confirmed that many big hotels were served notices.
“Many of these hoteliers claim that they have carried out the repairs under proper permission from the court. So, we have asked them to submit the same,” CEO said.
“We want to go through the proper procedure in their case,” he added.