Kashmir Houseboats Association Calls On Ajaz Kazmi

Demands waiving off electricity bills and compensation for caulking

SRINAGAR- Apni Trade Union State President Ajaz Kazmi on Thursday met with the members of Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association who sought his intervention with regards to their multiple grievances.

In a statement issued here, Kazmi said that Mohammad Yaqoob Dunoo, Spokesperson Kashmir Houseboats Association, apprised him about various problems faced by the houseboat owners since the abrogation of Article-370.

“The livelihood of these houseboat owners depends on the inflow of tourists and visitors to the Kashmir valley that has regrettably seen a considerable decline from the past two and a half years. Their condition has become immensely miserable and the government must address their genuine demands,” he said.

Kazmi said the Association members demanded for an immediate waiver of electricity bills along with the rescheduling of minimum monthly rental that is about Rs. 1750 while requesting that there are persistent power-cuts due to which many tourists are forced to flee from the houseboats.

“The houseboat owners have suffered immensely as nobody is ready to listen to their pressing pleas. I urge the KPDCL to review their monthly rentals and waive off their pending electricity bills keeping in view the current circumstances due to the pandemic,” he demanded.

The State Apni Trade Union President said the houseboat owners regularly spend a huge amount on caulking so that the boats don’t sink but due to economical crunch they are unable to bear the cost of the maintenance.

“Many houseboats have sunk as the owners were unable to spend on its maintenance and the condition is becoming further gloomy with every passing day. I urge the government to announce economic packages for them as they have no other source of income and these houseboats remain the pride of Dal Lake,” he asserted.

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