In a significant move, the Amritsar municipal corporation on Friday passed a proposal to bring 'illegal' hotels under the old building bylaws (of 1976) to provide relief to hoteliers.
A resolution in this regard was passed by the municipal corporation in a meeting of its House after taking nod from the councillors. The MC House also decided that the resolution would be sent to the state government.
Around 125 hotels around the Golden Temple and the Galliara in its periphery do not fulfill the existing building bylaws and have been seeking regularisation under the old bylaws. The resolution passed by the MC is a big relief for the hoteliers.
The MC House took the view that these hotels were built way back and it was tough for them to abide by the existing bylaws. This is the reason that MC has cited for accepting the demand of the owners of these hotels to bring them under the old bylaws and regularise them.
However, the matter is pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court after a PIL was filed by the Punjab Human rights Organisation (PHRO) in 2010.
The state government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) a few months ago to look into the entire issue of the illegal hotels and had told the owners of these hotels to abide by the existing bylaws by July 22 or face action.
Talking to HT, Amritsar mayor Bakshi Ram Arora, said, "These hotels had requested the Punjab government for regularisation under the old bylaws. As it was tough for these hotels and 'serais' to abide by the existing building bylaws, we passed a resolution in the house to accommodate them under the old building bylaws."
He said, "We have passed this resolution after a request from the Punjab government. We will now send the resolution to the government and if it fits in their policy and is also correct as per law, these hotels can be regularised".
The hoteliers, he said, had made repeated requests to the state government to give them relief to save their hotels.
Besides, the MC also passed various development projects and decided to declare some areas in the city as commercial.
Meanwhile, Federation of Hotels and Guest Houses Associations president Surinder Singh has welcomed the MC's decision, saying it would save the hotel industry in the city.
PROTEST OVER FELLING OF TREES
Representatives of various NGOs held a protest outside the corporation office over the felling of trees in the city by the administration, at the time when the meeting of the MC House was going on. They shouted slogans against the MC and mayor Bakshi Ram Arora.
Various NGOs in the city have been protesting against the felling of a large number of trees by the administration in the name of developmental.
Even chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Navjot Kaur Sidhu and BJP's national senior vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla have raised their voice against the "mindless" cutting of trees in the city.