JAMMU: Jammu Hotel, Restaurant and Bar Association (JHRBA) on Monday urged government to keep the air passengers going in for compulsory quarantine in Jammu.
According to a statement issued by Raju Chowdhary, President JHRBA, “The hotels in Jammu have been closed for the last more than two months due to the ongoing Corona pandemic and on May 22, 2020, the hotels were informed by the district administration and tourism department that as the flights are starting from May 25, the hotels should be geared up to receive the passengers who will be compulsorily quarantined for a few days till their test results came out. Most of the hotels were lying closed and at the behest of the administration, urgent measures were taken and the hotels were hurriedly brought back to working conditions. We offered very reasonable rates and made sure that all the mandatory protocols were put in place and even spent lot of money to ensure the same. But to our utter shock, the passengers instead of coming to hotels in Jammu were diverted by the administration to Katra. Now we are being told that Katra is the quarantine centre for all the air passengers”. “This will cause great inconvenience to the passengers and also leave the hotels who geared up to receive these passengers on administrations behest in lurch. These hotels which restarted operations in the last few days are getting bookings for only one or two rooms whereas their expenses run in lakhs for rupees per day thus making them bleed further”, the President JHRBA averred and requested the government that the hotels in Jammu which have given their consent to the administration along with the rates, etc should be first filled up with the passengers and after filling of these, the overflow could be sent to Katra.
Earlier in the month of April, the JHRBA in a letter to Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu had suggested a 5 point revival plan for the hospitality industry seeking deferment of all statutory liabilities including EMIs, to a minimum of 12 months and waiver of interest for the same period, subsidized employment for six months by the government, contribution of 50 per cent salary per employee, suspension of Excise fee, property taxes as well as municipal taxes from 15th March, till the end of COVID-19 period, and to allow GST collected to be used as working capital for six months and utility costs such as electricity to be charged at actual consumption and minimum charges to be waived off.