SRINAGAR: A three member delegation of Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association (KHARA) led by its president Showkat Chowdhary met Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) G N Qasba and apprised him about the damage to the hotel and restaurant industry due to devastating September floods.
Chowdhary was accompanied by KHARA Junior Vice President Abdul Majeed and Joint Secretary Aysha Saleem.
KHARA urged SMC Commissioner to provide permissions and NOCs to the hoteliers and restaurant owners affected by the floods on fast-track basis so they take up the renovation and reconstruction works forthwith.
KHARA President informed the Qasba that hotel industry needs immediate attention from the SMC so that the hotels are renovated, totally damaged hotels reconstructed on time before next years tourism season starts.
If we are not given permission in time, there will be no place for tourists to stay in Srinagar which will send a bad message to intending visitors. Some hotels need full reconstruction and some need renovation immediately. The harsh winter is also approaching which will also affect our works. Granting permissions this time will help tourism industry, KHARA delegation informed SMC Commissioner. We have to keep our properties ready before March so that we save our next years tourism season.
KHARA President said SMC Commissioner agreed to fast track the process of permission for hotels and restaurants. Chowdhary said Commissioner also asked the Association to submit the documents of the affected properties for permission itself.
Now, KHARA will submit applications on behalf of all the affected properties to the SMC for permissions to allow us for repair works. We are hoping permissions will be granted without much delay. We want to welcome tourists next season in fully refurbished properties, said Chowhdary.
KHARA also demanded the waiver of user charges by SMC for hotels and restaurant for next six months.
There is almost negligible tourist inflow this season and the tourism is likely to pick up only after March. The hotels are empty and SMC should not ask for user charges for next six months, said Chowdhary.
KHARA also appreciated the works of the SMC in removing the flood refuse from the city. It informed the Commissioner that SMC had never done such a commendable job before.
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