Srinagar, Nov 9: The proposed move by the Air India to lease out the Centaur Lake View Hotel here on Dal banks to a Mumbai based company is all set to snowball into a major controversy for the state government.
Several trade unions and associations of Kashmir Tuesday decided to launch an agitation if government failed to intervene into the matter and compel AI to reconsider its decision of privatization of the multi-crore business establishment.
The Centaur Employees Union today organized a seminar here against the privatization of the prized commercial asset, which is a part of hotel chains of AI subsidiary, Hotel Corporation of India, situated adjacent to the SK International Convention Center here. The program was attended by all the top trade and business organizations including JK Handicrafts Employees Association, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation and body of insurance employees. The two factions of the Employees Joint Action Committee also decided to provide unconditional support against leasing out the hotel.
"Either AI or state government should run the hotel. We will not allow outsiders to take it over. We have collectively decided to give time to government till the upcoming Eid to intervene in the matter. If government failed to respond all the trade and business organizations of the Valley supported by the employees will launch an agitation," said a leader of Centaur Employees Union, Muhammad Ismail.
Though authorities in the Omar Abdullah-led government have assured "intervention" in the matter there has been no visible action on the ground.
Ismail asserted that the AI had already signed an agreement with the Mumbai based company over leasing out of the prized asset to them on September 15 this year. There are more than 350 employees working in the hotel, most of them locals, and they fear that they are on the brink of losing their jobs.
"The agreement makes it clear that the services of the local employees will be hired for one year after which the company will make new appointments. More than 300 families of the Valley will suffer by the decision. We will not allow it to happen at any cost," he said.
The CEU has also decided to reach out to all sections of the society urging them to join their agitation program to save the prestigious property.