KEA asks Govt to come clean on Gulmarg lease holders

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) chairperson (KEA) Muhammad Yaseen Khan Saturday flayed the state regimes for their failure to address the lease renewal policy for land allottees in Gulmarg.
He said tourism is considered to be backbone of business in Kashmir and the money generated is circulated to all strata of society through this trade but the government is hellbent to devastate this sector now.
Khan, who also heads Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), said due to inaction of past regime, there has been a complete disregard to trade in general. “Maximum number of tourists visiting Kashmir spend most of their time in meadows of Gulmarg.”
He said land leases of most hotels have expired and the State governments have been assuring a policy on renewal/ownership of such properties. “In 2006-07, the tourist destination of Gulmarg was to be converted into ownership properties under Roshni scheme but it was scuttled for obvious reasons”.
Khan said authorities refused to let the control of Gulmarg go out of their hands as they had become “lucrative propositions that fed their political masters at the expense of tourism trade. It will not be wrong to say that more than any tourist destination in state, this destination has become cesspool of corruption. “
“This has resulted in unplanned development, ecological degradation, deforestation, unhygienic surroundings and extremely unfriendly spots for both business and tourists. The biggest sufferers of this inaction has been the hotel industry, which after investing hundreds of crores has fallen victim to a lack of policy for the last three decades. Even minor repairs are not possible without huge pay offs that reach the highest realms of power. Properties stand as run down structures screaming for upkeep and repair”, Khan said.
The KEA chairman said several committees were constituted by successive regimes on renewal policy of lease properties but no serious action towards this was been taken by any government.
While asking the Governor dispensation to address this grave issue, he demanded formulation of a policy for the lease hold rights and other working conditions including repair of properties so that ski resort of Gulmarg doesn’t shut down anytime from now.