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Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 12:49 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 12:49 AM (IST)

CM urged to save hotel industry from collapse

Ravinder Sood

Palampur January 12

Members of the State Hoteliers Association from Manali, Kullu, Dharamsala, Dalhousie and Macleodgunj today called on Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur at Dharmshala and urged him for one-time compounding of all offences under the Town and Country Planning Act and the state pollution laws. They pleaded the CM to save their building from being dismantled.

The members told the Chief Minister that after the recent action initiated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the state High Court and the HP State Pollution Control Board, the hotel industry had plunged into crisis. Over 250 hotels across the state were facing demolition, their power supply had already been disconnected.

They asked the Chief Minister to initiate measures to end the crisis and save the hotel industry from collapsing. They said tourist season was on and if no timely action was taken they would be forced to shut down their establishments and render thousands of workers jobless.

Briefing mediapersons, Bipan Bakshi, spokesman of the association, said they apprised the Chief Minister that when hotels were being constructed, the Town and Country Planning Department did not raise any objections or pointed out violations. After a gap of five to 10 years, they were served notices for demolition and their power supply was cut overnight, which was not a just move. He said the members told the Chief Minister that the Town and Country Planning Department that charged hefty fee from them, should guide them and organise seminars in this regard, regularly in different towns.

Likewise, the State Pollution Control Board should also guide them regarding installation of latest equipment to control pollution on a par with other states like Kerala, Goa and Rajasthan, he added.

All the members regretted that the Pollution Control Board only visited their premises to impose fines and seal their hotels. So far, the PCB never organised any seminar to impart technical know-how regarding installation of latest machinery on their premises to check pollution and scientific handling of garbage. They said they were ready to bear the cost of equipment if they were told about the technical know-how in this regard.

They said participation of all hotels in such seminar should be made compulsory so that no lapses occurred in the future.

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