SMC fails to refund community hall booking amounts

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The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has failed to refund money to people who had booked SMC community halls for organising their marriage functions but could not owing to COVID19 lockdown and ban on social gathering.

The SMC had also cancelled the bookings due to Covid19 guidelines which restricted the number of guests on such functions to 50 only.

The deposits range from Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000, depending upon the size of community hall and the duration.

Bashir Ahmad Dar of Aalikadal had booked the community hall for the marriage ceremony of his daughter on 26 and 27 June. Dar paid Rs 12,000 in advance but later cancelled the function owing COVID19.

“I received proper order from the office of Deputy Commissioner for holding a simple marriage function at my own residence wherein the number of guests was restricted just 50. Marriage halls are still closed owing COVID19 safety guidelines,” Dar said.

He said that though SMC commissioner had assured refund, till date nothing has been done.

“There is a provision in SMC rules. The civic body has to refund eighty percent of total amount in case an applicant himself cancels booking. But here the case is different. Bookings were cancelled by SMC itself following government guidelines. Therefore, full refund is our right,” he said.

He added that there are around 70 applicants making rounds of SMC every day to seek full refund.

“Officials are telling us that the commissioner SMC has held a meeting on this matter but minutes are yet to come,” Dar said.

A group of aggrieved said that SMC has no right to keep the money with it when it has not offered any services and cancelled bookings on its own. They demanded full refund.

SMC secretary Akbar Sofi said that the process has been expedited and refund will be made in full without any deductions.