AAI tender raises eyebrows from houseboat owners
Appeal CM for intervention
Srinagar, Feb 9: A tender notice issued by Directorate of Airports Authority of India here for holding a counter at Srinagar International Airport has come in for severe criticism in the tourism circles here, with the Houseboat Owners’ Association accusing the directorate of debarring them from the “facility which was allotted to them by the Tourism Department.”
Chairman HOA Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo told Greater Kashmir that the counter was allotted to the association by the Department of Tourism. “It helped us to register bookings for our houseboats by the tourists after their immediate arrival at the airport,” he said.
“The counter was established thirty years ago and during this time no tender has ever been issued for it. We would have a representative at the counter and every houseboat owner received the bookings at his turn. This counter was hence benefiting thousands of families of houseboat owners,” he said.
He said if the tender will not be cancelled “the houseboat owners would come on roads to protest and agitate.”
“After a decade of depression we had begun to get bookings for two to four houseboats everyday at the counter. Even in January when we usually have a lean period in tourism we received bookings on the counter,” he said.
He said allotting the counter to a single person would make thousands of families to suffer.
He said the HOA was one of the largest associations in J&K with around 1275 registered members. “If the counter is snatched, all these members and their families would suffer,” he said.
“I appeal to the Chief Minister, the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of State for Tourism to intervene in the issue,” he said.
He said earlier also there was problem with the shifting of the counter. “The counter was shifted to the rear side of the airport last year and it was only because of my personal efforts and with the help of the Department of Tourism that it was brought back to the front side,” he said.
When contacted Director Airport Authorities Srinagar said theirs was a commercial organization and any counter that was provided at the Airport to the private parties was given through tender only.
When asked why no tender was issued for allotment of the counter during the last thirty years, he said “I don’t want to comment on it.”
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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