The campaign to seal illegal hotels here resumed on Tuesday, with fresh notices issued to the owners of the remaining 104 inns. However, now suggestions and objections are invited from all in 30 days.
The Punjab and Haryana high court also had refused to stay the sealing exercise. “The hotels, guest houses and ‘serais’ (inns) near the Golden Temple are declared not fit for use by this notice under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act of 1976,” said municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal, adding: “The owners can file suggestions and objections with the municipal town planner.”
The office of the municipal town planner will be the source for further information on any working day. “After 30 days, if we have received no objection, we’ll assume that the owners have none,” said Sabharwal.
In 2010, Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) had filed a public-interest petition about the illegal hotels around the Golden Temple, and in a survey last year, the MC had found 440 hotels, including 40 coming up, violating the high court guidelines.
A special investigation team (SIT) identified 125 hotels in the Golden Temple Galliara, and in August, the MC issued 72-hour eviction notice to the owners of 21 to carry out the high court orders.
On August 20, the sealing was postponed to keep law and order after the owners put up resistance. Amritsar Hotel Association chairman Harinder Singh said the issue was that most hotels were not registered under the Serai Act of 1867. “But the owners now have applied for regularisation on the grounds that it will boost tourism,” he added