Lease agreements expired decade ago at Gulmarg, Govt likely to go for fresh auction
News Desk / Srinagar, May 26: The lease agreement between maximum number of Hoteliers and government in the famous ski resort Gulmarg have expired around a decade ago.
Highly placed sources told ANN News Kashmir based Tv channel , that around 86 hoteliers are operating on government land without any existing lease agreement as the agreement entered have expired around decade ago and in many cases around two decades ago.
“Thus, government exchequer is facing losses given the fact that hundreds of kanals of land enriches these hoteliers and public exchequer gets nothing in return,” said an official.
Officials in J&K Tourism Department said that technically 90% of lease has been expired and within a year remaining ten percent will also expire.
“Once granted lease rules can be extended upto 40 years and further it is extendable up to 10 years at the choice of government. However majority of the hotels are running here without any existing lease agreement,” said an official.
He said that thought the authorities have time and again issued notices to the hoteliers to vacate the land but due to political pressure in past the officials didn’t take later any action under law.
The on spot visit reveals that hundreds of kanals of land in Gulmarg has been occupied by some people illegally while others have stretched the original allotment to hundreds of kanals unlawfully.
Sources said that the occupants are maintaining that they are in possession of the land for several decades and the area stands developed by them on the strength of permission granted by then Town Area Committee.
It is to mention here that the State High Court had also directed the Government to strictly adhere to the procedures of land lease in Ski resort of Gulmarg so that no land is illegally occupied on the premises that have been grabbed for decades.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe had observed that there are persons who have no allotment of land in their favour and are in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without any authority of law.
If sources are to be believed, the government has initiated the process for collection of details of all those cases where land has been given on lease and simultaneously has expired.
In the year 2006-07 the tourist destination of Gulmarg was to be converted into ownership properties under the Roshni Scheme. The scheme was later declared null and void by J&K High Court in 2020.
“The government is mulling to evacuate all those whose lease have been expired and to go for fresh auction,” said an official.