Anantnag: Despite assurances of stringent action against the illegal hoteliers at Yanner area of Pahalgam by the secretary tourism Rigzin Symphal, more than a week later the hoteliers continue to carry on with their illegal business.
The inaction of authorities has left the registered hoteliers in Pahalgam fuming.
Dozens of hotels, huts and guest houses constructed illegally on the banks of Lidder river near Yanner, a picturesque spot, nine kms ahead of Pahalgam, are operating under the nose of authorities. This despite the fact that they were denied registration by the tourism department.
Sources said that although a few years ago authorities had sealed many illegal hotels at Yanner, however, only recently the hoteliers have managed to get their hotels unsealed using political influence.
As reported earlier by The Kashmir Press the secretary tourism had assured action against anyone violating the norms. However, sources in the department said that no action has been taken against any violator.
“The assurence by the secretary has so far been ‘restricted’ to assurance only. No directive came to us about these illegal commercial establishments. These people are very influential. Secretary’s assurance about action against these hoteliers is a time buying tactic only,” a local tourism official told The Kashmir Press.
Asked why the department is not acting against these hoteliers at local level, the official said, “When our secretary is hesitant to take against them how can we. They are powerful people and have been given a free hand to carry on with their illegal business at the cost of the environs of the scenic spot.”