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Posted at: Dec 7, 2018, 1:16 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2018, 1:16 AM (IST)

Amendment sought in Walled City Act

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 6

Hotel associations of the city has written to the government for an amendment in the Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage) Act to accommodate the existing hotels in the walled city, which are being considered as illegal for not following the building bylaws.

Jatinder Singh Moti Bahtia, representatives of several trade and hotel associations, said, “There are a few condition in the Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage) Act, 2017, which can’t be fulfilled. These conditions are not even important. So we have written in detailed to amend the Act.”

Earlier, the Punjab Government had amended the Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage) Act in 2017 and proposed a one-time settlement policy for illegal hoteliers. As many as 216 hoteliers filed applications for the regularisation of their properties.

Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had claimed that the policy would have benefited at least 216 hospitality units located in narrow lanes. After scrutinising the applications, the Municipal Corporation found that not a single hotel fulfilled the building by laws and recommendation of the Act.

“One of the major conditions was a parking lot. These hotels are in narrow lanes, which is no traffic zone so this condition is irrelevant. The government should regularise all the existing hotels and impose the further ban on the construction of hotels,” said Bhatia.

Meanwhile, Sarbjit Singh Verka, whose petition is sub-judice in a case against the construction of hotels in the walled city, said construction was still going on unchecked.

According to information, there were 105 illegal hotels in the walled city when Verka filed a writ in 2010. The SIT constituted by the government in 2014 found that the number of hotels was 125. The government invited applications to regularise the hotels under the Walled City Act following which 216 hoteliers submitted their files.

Verka said there were more than 400 hotels in the walled city and there were almost 20 sites where illegal constructions had been going on in full swing.


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