Reprieve for McLeodganj hotels facing power disconnection
By Lalit Mohan
DHARAMSHALA, India, 28 June 2018
In a late-night move, the Dharamshala Municipal Corporation has provided a one-week reprieve to 29 hotels and restaurants of McLeod Ganj which were facing power disconnection.
Dharamshala Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Kadam said that snapping of the power connections was postponed to avoid harassment to the tourist staying in the hotels.
“A delegation of the affected hoteliers had met me and requested that since it was a long weekend, a large number of tourists had already checked in. If the power connections are severed, the tourists will have to suffer. So keeping in view the problems that tourists might face, it was decided that the hoteliers would be given one week before their connections were severed. The information regarding the one-week relaxation given to 29 hotels will also be sent to the Himachal High Court”, the Municipal Commissioner said.
However, interestingly the 29 buildings that were facing power disconnections also included illegal restaurants and shops. Even these restaurants and commercial shops have got relief in the name of tourists.
The one-week reprieve to big hotels has, however, been criticised by owners of small hotels and guest houses whose power connections had been cut about a month ago.
Many guest house owners in Dharamkot alleged that they had kept just four to five rooms functional. However, their power connections were severed by the department. Why now special favour was being extended to owners of big hotels and restaurants in the name of tourists, the owners of small guest houses asked.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board authorities disconnected the power supply of Centre Point, another famous hotel of lower Dharamshala. Sources here said that power connection of the hotel had been cut for non-deposition of property tax.
The sources said that a few other properties owners whose property tax dues were in lakhs might also face power disconnections.
Due to strict measures taken by the Municipal Commissioner, property tax collection of the local body had increased three times. The property tax collection of Dharamshala was just about Rs 67 lakhs in last financial year. In the first four months of the current financial year, the property tax collection of corporation has increased to about Rs 1.60 crores.