The Yatri Niwas located in Lal Chowk here has been converted into a quarantine center amid the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.
An official said 48 persons have been quarantined at the Niwas after Shri Sanatan Dharm Partap Sabha (SSDPS), which runs the affairs of the Niwas, offered it to district administration for using a quarantine facility.
The Niwas has 25 rooms equipped with modern facilities including attached bathrooms, double-bed facility and sufficient seating area in each room.
The official said the management of Niwas voluntarily approached the district administration and offered the space to be used as quarantine centre free of cost.
“In these crises time, we want to help the society in whatever manner we can. We offered this building to district administration around a month ago,” said DV Batra, President Shri Santan Dharam Pratap Sabha.
He said earlier, eight medicos were given accommodation in the Niwas. “Two days ago, we were pleased to welcome 48 travelers in this building who are under administrative quarantine,” he said.
All the 48 persons are locals and have been put under quarantine on their return to Srinagar. Some of them include families with children.
Batra said the building was offered to the administration so that it could benefit people irrespective of caste, colour creed and religion, during the COVID19 crises.
The Niwas is run by the Sabha, a non-profit organization, from decades. It was donated by Dogra ruler, Maharaja Partap Singh in 1915 as an inn for travelers and other needy people.
Batra said food and other essentials for the quarantined people were being provided by the district administration.
“We have also asked our employees to voluntarily help people under quarantine and district administration as and when required,” he said.
The Sabha manages several temples in Kashmir and is also offering free services to needy people irrespective of their religion.
During Amarnath Yatra, it organizes free langar for a period of over 40 days.
“The place caught fire in 1993 and was defunct till 2009. In 2009 we renovated it. Irrespective of religion we are here for people from every section of society. During floods and unrests, many people stayed here and we served them free of cost,” Batra said.
Apart from 25 rooms, the Niwas has a large halls and a dormitory that can accommodate more than 150 persons. It also has staff strength of around 25 people who work in administration, kitchen and other areas.