Centre Asks CRPF To Vacate Boulevard Hotels

Centre Asks CRPF To Vacate Boulevard Hotels

18 June 2012
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: With Srinagar and other tourist resorts of the Valley witnessing heavy tourist rush, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to vacate the hotels they have occupied on the Boulevard Road here. In the Boulevard-Dalgate belt, the CRPF occupy Hotel Kehkashaan, Hotel Ethena, Hotel Boulevard, Hotel Pakhtoon, Hotel Vikram, Hotel Leeward, Hotel Metro, Hotel Greenworld and Hotel Hill Star. According to reliable sources, the directions have been passed by MHA after a police report wherein they have mentioned that tourists face accommodation problem in Srinagar and other tourist resorts. The report has said that most of the hotels in Srinagar and other tourist resorts are booked till October. Sources said that in their report, police have mentioned that around 35 per cent of tourist accommodations are still under the occupation of forces and at some Government offices are housed in the buildings meant for tourists. “The Valley is getting good response from tourists this year. We believe if everything goes well, the influx of tourists may double. The Government should vacate all the hotels occupied by security agencies,” the police report said. The report says that till now more than 5,50,000 tourists have visited the Valley this year. “In case the details about the unregistered tourists are gathered, the number would be quite high,” says the report adding that most of pilgrims who visit Amaranth Cave, later visit the tourist resorts of valley. “Soon after the start of Yatra, accommodation issue will get further complicated.” The report says that around 6000 hotel rooms in the Valley are under the use of Government offices and security agencies. “If these are vacated, then Kashmir would be having no shortage of hotel accommodation for tourists this year,” the report mentions. “A bumper tourist season is expected this year. The people who are putting up in the occupied hotels should be shifted to other places on war-footing basis,” the report says. Officiating Public Relations Officer, CRPF, said, “I do not know anything about such directive. Once we vacate, alternate accommodation has to be provided by the state Government. Once we are given the alternate accommodation by state Government we are ready to leave.” He said that five hotels on the Boulevard are under the occupation of the force. There are 46 hotels and guest houses under the occupation of CRPF across Srinagar.