Straight Line News Network
Jammu, Dec 6: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) today announced series of significant decisions including the construction of accommodation for 4000 pilgrims in Bhawan area and an exit track besides new queue management system at Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati.
The cost of implementation of the first phase of Bhawan Master Plan will cost around Rs 90 crore.
But commercial units in the holy town are agitated over the user fee levied by Municipal Committee Katra since no other Municipal town of Jammu Kashmir has imposed such heavy use fee.
While on the one hand, pilgrim-centric infrastructural facilities are being put in place by the Board, for ensuring best possible arrangements for the yatris, there is strong resentment among the locals and business community about the Municipal Committee’s action with them terming the User Fee on exorbitant rates as ‘Jazia’ on Hindu pilgrimage.
The exorbitant user charges under the Municipal Committee, Katra Solid Waste Management By-Laws, 2019, were approved by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir with issuance of a notification in this regard on September 17, 2019 and the same have been implemented from the month of November 2019.
According to the notification in this regard, Hotel/Guest House with restaurant capacity of more than 30 rooms shall have to pay user fee of Rs 10,000 per month while Rs 100 per room are being charged from Hotels/Guest House/ Dharamshala with capacity up to 30 rooms. Per month Use Fee for Trust/Dharamshala with capacity more than 30 rooms is Rs 7000.
Similarly, User Fee for a Restaurant bulk generator is Rs 5,000 per month while Dhaba with sitting capacity above 50 persons and 15-49 persons are being charged Rs 3000/- and Rs 1500/-, respectively per month. User Fee for Sweet Shops is Rs 1000, Vegetable/Fruit Shops/ Juice is Rs 750, street vendor is Rs 500, Travel Agency officer, Pan House, Dry Fruit and Saloon etc is Rs 250.
The per month User Fee for Clinic, Dispensary, Laboratory, Nursing Homes is Rs 1000 Cinema Hall with restaurant is Rs 15,000, Petrol Pump/Cold store is Rs 1000, Marriage Hall is Rs 3500, Rehris is Rs 1000, Taxi stand is Rs 8000, Parking Space is Rs 2000. The charges for dumping at Tan Talab at the official site, has been kept at Rs 15,000 per vehicle.
Another major decision was taken by the Board in its 65th meeting which was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, his first after taking over as the LG. The board reduced term employment period of the staff from seven to three years, higher pay scales and in-situ promotion for the employees. It also announced measures to overcome stagnation among the employees.