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Municipal Corporation tells hotels near Golden Temple to shut shop

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]
By HBI Staff | Mumbai

Hotel and Restaurant Welfare Association, Amritsar, yesterday warned to launch an agitation after the Municipal Corporation (MC) issued notices to eight hotels near the Golden Temple cancelling their licences. One of the notices issued to a hotel on May 2, 2012 by the MC stated that its building did not conform to the Municipal Bylaws and section 347 (2) of Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976.

The notices cited a pending Punjab and Haryana High Court case relating to hotels, guest houses and serais around Golden Temple and stated that the licence issued under the said section was hence revoked.

Surinder Singh, President of the Association alleged that many of the hotels that had been served notices were given licences by the MC itself and were even paying the various taxes for years. “Now, even the police have been told to ensure that the said hotels do not continue to function,” Surinder Singh said, adding that the MC move would deal a death blow to the hotel industry.
“If the government did not take back its orders, there would be a chain reaction and hotel industry would suffer not only in Amritsar but in other cities of Punjab as well,” said J S Wadhwa, Senior Vice President of the Association in an Indian Express report.

Dharampal Gupta, Commissioner, MC, however, said that they were acting on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. “We have sent the notices to revoke the licences of the hotels acting on the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The next date of hearing in the case is May 24, 2012 and after that we would decide future course of action,” Gupta said.

Meanwhile, the Association today shot off letters on the issue to various authorities, including Prime Minister and Punjab Chief Minister.

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