KEA asks govt to come clean on Gulmarg lease holders

KEA asks govt to come clean on Gulmarg lease holders
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Says continuous regimes ‘have failed’ to address renewal policy

SRINAGAR: Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairperson (KEA) Muhammad Yaseen Khan on Saturday flayed the continuous state regimes for their failure to address the lease renewal policy for land allottees in Gulmarg. Hitting out at successive regimes, Khan said tourism is considered to be the backbone of business in Kashmir and the money generated is circulated to all strata of society through this trade but “the state government is hell-bent to devastate this sector now”.
In a statement issued here, Khan, who also heads Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), said due to inaction of past governments, there has been a complete disregard to trade in general. He said, maximum number of tourists visiting valley spend most of their time in the meadows of Gulmarg.
“Most hotels sit on land where leases have expired and past governments have been assuring a policy on renewal/ownership of such properties. In the year 2006-07 the tourist destination of Gulmarg was to be converted into ownership properties under Roshni scheme which was scuttle d for obvious reasons”, Khan said.
Khan in the statement argued that the concerned authorities of the ski resort of Gulmarg refused to let the control of land go out of their hands “as they had become lucrative propositions that fed their political masters at the expense of tourism trade”.
“It will not be wrong to say that more than any tourist destination in state of J&K this destination has become cesspool of corruption,” alleged Khan in the statement.
“This has resulted in unplanned development, ecological degradation, deforestation, unhygienic surroundings and extremely unfriendly spots for both business and tourists. The biggest sufferers of this inaction has been the hotel industry which after investing hundreds of crores has fallen victim to a lack of policy for the last three decades. Even minor repairs are not possible without huge pay offs that reach the highest realms of power. Properties stand as run down structures screaming for upkeep and repair”, Khan said.
Khan said “several committees were constituted by successive regimes which was chaired by senior bureaucrats with sole aim on renewal policy of lease properties but no action towards this was ever taken by any government”.
While asking the present dispensation to address this grave issue, KEA demanded formulation of a policy for the lease hold rights and other working conditions including repair of properties so that the ski resort of Gulmarg doesn’t shut down anytime from now.

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