Notwithstanding the protest launched by members of the Federation of Hotel and Guest Houses Association, Amritsar, the municipal corporation is all set to seal the ‘unauthorised’ hotels in Galliara area on Wednesday as the 72-hour deadline for sealing came to end on Tuesday evening.
With owners of illegal hotels determined to protect their establishments tooth and nail from sealing, the city is likely to witness fireworks on Wednesday.
The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2010 in connection with the illegal hotels within the periphery of the Golden Temple. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) set to look into the matter had identified 125 hotels around the Golden Temple and Galliara. On Saturday evening, the MC had slapped a 72-hour notice on the owners of these hotels, asking them to shut down their establishments or it would be sealed. The sealing is likely to begin by 9am on Wednesday amid police arrangements. “We are all set to go ahead with the sealing,” said municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal. In the meantime, the hoteliers have planned stiff resistance.
“Livelihood of hundreds of families will be adversely affected after the sealing. We will block the road to prevent MC officials from sealing our hotels,” said Surinder Singh, president, Surinder Singh, president, Federation of Hotel and Guest Houses Association, Amritsar. As the MC had passed a resolution regarding the implementation of the old building bylaws and had sent it to the government, the officials should have for the government’s decision before sealing the illegal hotels, he added.