Another chance to legalise hotels around Golden Temple
Sidhu said the last (SAD-BJP) government ahead of the 2017 assembly elections had started the process of legalising the units but “due to its high fee”, the hoteliers could not get the benefit, and the last date of applying was April 29, 2016.punjab Updated: Jan 14, 2018 18:12 IST
Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Saturday the state government has given another chance to legalise operations of around 215 hotels located in and around the Golden Temple ‘galliara’ (periphery). The fee has been cut by half.
- Issue around shrine: Golden Temple is visited by nearly 1 lakh pilgrims every day, who come from all over the globe. Many hotels, inns and guest houses accommodate them on reasonable rates, but their location in the old topography of 400-year-old city poses a hindrance in compliance of modern-day building norms.
- What court said: Operation of the hospitality units around the shrine was challenged in the high court in 2010 by activist Sarbjit Singh Verka, and the court directed the Punjab government to find amicable solution. Minister Navjot Sidhu said meetings between the secretary of local bodies department and the owners of the hotels and guest houses were held to sort out the issue.
- Rates now cut: As per new rules, guest houses with area up to 125 sq yards will have to pay fee of Rs 250 per sq yard; earlier it was Rs 500. Similarly, those the hotels and commercial buildings (upto 125 Sq yard) will have to pay Rs 500 per sq yard, earlier the fee was Rs 1,000. Hotels having area from 125 to 500 sq yard will have to pay fee of Rs 500 per sq yard which was Rs 10,00 earlier; and Rs 750 has been fixed for hotels with area larger than 500 sq yards, the fee for which was Rs 1,500 per sq yard earlier.
Addressing a press conference at Partition Museum here, Sidhu said that it was a long-pending demand of the hoteliers.
He said the last (SAD-BJP) government ahead of the 2017 assembly elections had started the process of legalising the units but “due to its high fee”, the hoteliers could not get the benefit, and the last date of applying was April 29, 2016.
He said the Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage [Amendment]) was enacted in 2017 and a special provision was needed to cut the fee by 50%. “A meeting of the cabinet under CM Capt Amrinder Singh was held and the special provision was granted without discussion.”
Now, the beneficiaries can get usage of their buildings recognised by submitting information (application) by January 31, and the competent authority — MC commissioner — will have to take a final decision regarding their recognition by July 31.
He said applicants have to fulfil conditions of fire safety and have to furnish structural safety certificate from the designated institutes