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CS chairs meeting on registration, renewal of houseboats

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‘Ratings for houseboats to be introduced’

Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, today chaired a meeting to review the policy and guidelines on Dal Lake for registration, renewal and operation of houseboats in Dal and Nigeen Lakes besides discussing legal framework for enforcing the policy.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, General Administration Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi; Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez; Vice-Chairperson, J&K Lakes Conservation and Management Authority and Director Tourism, Kashmir.

Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta participated virtually.

While emphasizing coordination among various line departments, the Chief Secretary directed for the constitution of a committee at senior level for registration, renewal and operation of house boats in Dal and Nigeen Lakes besides legal framework for enforcing the policy.

The committee shall be responsible for inspection of the houseboats to ensure compliance to all laid down norms and procedures including structural safety, fire hazard, sewage and waste disposal. It will also be mandated with scrutinizing all documents of the houseboat for registrations/renewal of the registration.

The committee will also ensure that fire safety guidelines are being followed by the houseboat owner besides a functional Sewage Treatment system for solid and liquid waste is in place.

The Chief Secretary also directed the officers to introduce rating systems of houseboats based on facilities and quality of service for the convenience of tourists. He said that under the rating system, officers shall inspect and classify the houseboats and monthly ratings should be published.

It is pertinent to mention that the Tourism Department had notified the Policy/Guidelines on Dal lake for registration, renewal and operation of house boats in Dal and Nigeen Lakes with an objective to regulate the functioning of houseboats. Also, the policy ensures preservation of ecology of the lakes besides conserving the ecosystem for future generations by adopting sustainable Tourism.

The policy elaborates different aspects of concerned matters of the Dal and Nigeen lakes and elucidates the documental requirement for registration and renewal of House Boats in these lakes.

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