Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated a process to take over the possession of the Centaur Lake View Hotel located on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
Centaur is a part of Air India subsidiary Hotel Corporation of India (HCI), there are two hotel properties under HCI — the Centaur in Delhi and one at Dal Lake, in Srinagar.
Officials informed that the J&K government was keen to take over the possession of this prime property for a long time. “However it seems now that the takeover will fructify as LG administration has shown its keen intent."
In order to facilitate the takeover, J&K government appointed Faz Lul Haseeb, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, as estates officer for taking over possession of the premises of Centaur Lake View Hotel. He has been appointed as an estates officer under a law which empowers the government to evict unauthorised occupants.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of The Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises(Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1988 read with section 6 of The Jammu and Kashmir Land Grants Act and rule 7(K) of The Jammu and Kashmir Land Grant Rules, 1960, the Government hereby appoint Faz Lul Haseeb, IAS, additional deputy commissioner Srinagar, as estates officer for the purpose of The Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises( Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1988 for taking over possession of the premises of Centaur Lake Hotel, Srinagar,” reads the notification.
Under the Land Grants Act, the Government has the right of reentry on the land leased and the lessee shall be liable to be evicted under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act.
ADC Srinagar, Faz Lul Haseeb said that the "possession has taken yet". However, he refused to divulge further details.
CEO of Hotel Corporation of India, Deepak Khullar told Greater Kashmir that the takeover has not taken place. " HCI is running Centaur Hotel currently and I would not like to divulge any details as the matter is sub-judice."
As per the Centaur Hotel Employees, the notice period to vacate the hotel was 45 days. " This period will come to an end on Wednesday. We are apprehensive about the future. We have been trying to meet government officials to seek their assurance about our future but there is none. Nobody is telling us what will happen to employees after the government takes over control of the hotel, " said one of their representatives.
On June 25, 1979, the J&K Government vide Cabinet decision No.237 on June 25, 1979, agreed to lease out 13 acres of land in the high profile area of Cheshmashahi Srinagar on the Dal Lake to HCI for 90 years.
On the basis of the said cabinet decision, an agreement was executed on March 10, 1982, between the state Government and HCI.
Set up in 1982, the hotel located adjacent to Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar has been one of the major attractions for domestic and foreign tourists visiting Kashmir. The official delegates received by the State Government from different States and abroad throughout the year usually prefer to stay in Centaur owing to its scenic surroundings.