CRPF occupy 46 hotels, guest houses in city
‘No Plan To Vacate’
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, May 15: With the Jammu and Kashmir government making efforts to minimize the foot prints of security forces in the valley, especially in Srinagar, there are still 46 hotels and guest houses under the occupation of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in different parts of the capital city.
This is despite the fact that the state has been facing acute shortage of accommodation in view of heavy tourist rush for the past two years.
In 1990 when hundreds of thousands of paramilitary forces were deployed in Kashmir to fight militancy, there was massive shortage of space to house them. So they occupied places they could find easy that included hotels, guest houses, cinema halls and residential houses of migrants.
Data available with police reveals that in early ’90s Border Security Force (BSF) occupied 79 hotels and guest houses in the city. In recent years, 33 of them were vacated and 46 are still under the occupation of CRPF which replaced BSF in 2005.
Most of the occupied hotels, police said, are prime places and before the eruption of militancy these places were being used by tourists. “Some of them were favorite boarding destinations for tourists,” a senior police officer said.
Police added that some of the hotels were vacated by the security forces during the coalition regime led by Mufti Muhammad Syeed. “Since then no other hotel was vacated by security forces,” he said. “Other than hotels, security forces vacated two cinema halls and there was also partial withdrawal of security forces from Indoor Stadium.”
Most of the hotels, according to police, are used by CRPF as battalion and company headquarters in different parts of Srinagar. Public Relations Officer CRPF, Sudhir Kumar did not divulge the number of hotels occupied by their men in different parts of Srinagar.
However, he said that they are paying the rent. “The owners of the hotels are being paid rent at regular intervals by government,” the PRO said adding there was no plan to vacate any hotel in Srinagar in near future.
Police records also mention that in other prime hotels and guest houses of Srinagar, accommodation has been provided to more than 3000 Durbar move employees. The prime hotels and guest houses where accommodation has been provided to move employees are Hotel Lala Rukh and Hotel Heemal, tourist huts at Cheshmashahi and Parimahal.
A police officer said that Riyaz Guest House Bishambar Nagar, Kashmir Hill Town, Hotel Alexander, Hotel Khyber have also been provided to move employees.
Pertinently, the state government Monday initiated the process to get all the buildings owned by Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC) ad occupied by the police and other forces at various district headquarters vacated.
A high level committee has been constituted in this regard to get the buildings vacated. The Committee will be headed by Principal Secretary to Government Home Department and will comprise Principal Secretary to Government PDD and Managing Director JKSPDC as its members.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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