|DB directs Director Tourism to file details of hotels, guest houses, house boats at Dal Lake|
|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Oct 16: In a Public Interest Litigation, A Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice and Justice Rashid Ali Dar, directed Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, shall forthwith tabulate the full details of all hotels, guest houses and house boats including location and the details of registration thereof. The same shall be plotted on a physical map to enable identification and location. The same shall be forthwith plotted on a geo physical map as well. The details, locations, the physical map and GPS shall be posted on the website of the Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir. This exercise shall be completed after a physical verification, within four weeks from today.
DB further directed that after completion of above direction, the Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, may consider the requests for renewal of licenses made by any Hotels, Guest Houses and House Boats (which have earlier been granted a license). Grant of such renewal shall be subject to the final recommendations which may be made by the Committee of Experts regarding the measures for closure / rehabilitation / relocation / compensation etc. if any, keeping in view the health of the Dal lake. All renewals granted by the Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, shall extract the above terms.
When the matter came-up for hearing, DB observed that this application has been filed by the Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, seeking clarification with regard to para 31 of the order dated 18th September, 2018, whereby it has been ordered as follows: "In this view of the matter, we would direct the State authorities, for the time being, to withhold issuance of any further license towards these members till evaluation is received from the expert committee on these aspects."
DB further observed that the application has been necessitated for the reason that the Tourism Department is receiving requests from the owners of the Hotels, Guest Houses and House Boats, for renewal of licenses which have been expired during the pendency of the case. The applicant-Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, has sought clarification as to whether the direction made in para 31 of the order dated 18th September, 2018, stands extended to the grant of renewal of these licence holders.
DB further observed that perusal of the order dated 18th September, 2018, would show that the issue of optimum number of the Hotels, Guest Houses and House Boats for ensuring the health of the Dal Lake is pending consideration before the Committee of Experts.
We have requested the Committee for suggesting the ideal/optimum number of the Hotels/Guest Houses and House Boats, keeping in view the health of the Dal lake in mind as also necessary measures for the same which would include rehabilitation/ relocation/compensation, if at all, for these hotels, guest houses and house boats which would require to be removed and the Tourism Department has available with its full details and records of the hotels, guest houses and house boats which have been granted licences.