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Kashmir hotels shut for two days

PTI  Srinagar, October 28, 2013
First Published: 15:55 IST(28/10/2013) | Last Updated: 15:56 IST(28/10/2013)

Hoteliers in Kashmir today began a two-day strike to protest against a Jammu and Kashmir high court directive for installation of individual sewage treatment plants on their premises.

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The strike has been called by the coordination committee of Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association, two premier trade organisations of the Valley.

Most of the hotels and restaurants in Srinagar city and at famous tourist destinations of Gulmarg and Pahalgam have decided to remain shut for two days.

All bookings in the hotels have been cancelled and the guests have been asked to vacate the rooms, chairman of the coordination committee Faiz Bakshi said here, adding that the even restaurants will not serve any guests for two days.

The high court has made the installation of STPs mandatory for the hotels with more than 19 rooms and has also directed the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to seal the hotels which do not have individual STPs installed on their premises.

Acting upon the court directions, the SPCB has sealed many hotels in the Valley.

"On September 27, SPCB sealed 20 hotels in Gulmarg without any notice. Then they sealed 90 hotels in Pahalgam and have also sent notices to 128 hotels and restaurants in Srinagar," Bakshi said.
 
The industry leaders have maintained that they are not against checking pollution at tourist places in the Valley, but installing individual STPs is not possible for them.

Bakshi said that the government is obliged to install common STPs under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission scheme to safeguard the environment.

The hoteliers also held a protest at Press Enclave here.

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