Srinagar: The luxury hotel situated atop Karalsangri hillock overlooking Dal Lake maybe opulent for merrymakers but the locals are annoyed by the damage it causes their dead in the graves. The faulty drainage of the Taj Vivanta, the premier luxury hotel, seeps into the local graveyard of Brane village, making it almost impossible for the dead to be buried there.
The situation has compelled the local residents to find alternate spaces to bury their deceased as the hotel owners refused to address their complaints.
Abdul Gafar Mir, 60, President of Brane Residents’ Association told Kashmir Reader that they have abandoned their ancestral graveyard due to the menace caused by the luxury hotel.
“The water from the underground trenches seeps into graveyard situated at a lower level”, he said.
“The water level is too high in the graveyard and it appears just two feet below after digging. It makes it unfit for burial”, he said some bodies were buried in water-filled graves.
The hotel’s construction was viewed as an ecological disaster but the authorities allowed it despite concerns.
Locals say that besides being a constant ecological disaster for the area, it is now proving detrimental even for the dead of the locality.
Mir said the locals are facing problems since the day the hotel was established at then plateau. “The hotel owners have dug a small trench. The drainage seeps into graveyard and has become a major cause of worry for us”, Mir said.
Frustrated at the apathy of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) Mir said that they have approached the department many times but “they do not seem to be interested in helping the locals”.
“We have approached LAWDA and PDP legislator Ashraf Mir requesting them to intervene but to no avail”, he said.
The Hotel management promised the locals to fix the problem at the earliest “but the promises were never fulfilled”.
“We have been listening to the series of promises for two years now but never saw any results”, Mir said.
Sarmad Hafeez , LAWDA Vice Chairman declined having received any complaint from the locals. “You have bought this into our notice. I will surely look into this matter”, Hafeez told Kashmir Reader.