Illegal occupation of Marriage Hall by Tourism officials irks locals

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SRINAGAR: A marriage cum community hall in Ikhrajpora at Rajbagh has illegally been occupied by some officials of the Tourist Department by turning it into a recreational inn, locals have alleged. The Department has occupied its several rooms of which some have been sublet to a hotel and restaurant association, KHARA, much to the displeasure of the locals there. 

“What’s a marriage hall for,” asked a local. “It’s meant for us and we pay huge sums whenever there’s a need to utilize it.”

“The Community Hall has been reduced to an official building while most of its rooms have either been occupied by the employees or provided to some influential people,” he said.

“Two bedrooms have been occupied by the tourism employees while two spacious halls have been locked by KHARA which they use it as their office,” said the locals. “I paid Rs 60,000 for two days for my daughter’s marriage but due to the lack of facilities and rooms having been occupied, I faced a lot embarrassment,” said a local.

Former Minister and National Conference senior leader Ali Muhammad Sagar who was laid foundation stones of many marriage halls in the Srinagar city said that Community or Marriage Hall is meant for people and no private or government institution can occupy a single room of it. “I fail to understand on what grounds the rooms have been occupied by some people,” former Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir who inaugurated the said Community Hall during Omar Abdullah led previous government said.

Attempts to contact the KHARA president and Tourism officials did not materialize.

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