Lockdown badly affects hospitality industry

Srinagar, August 28 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, due to the complete lockdown imposed by the Indian government, more than 5,000 hotels stand locked and at least 10,000 staff members of chain of hotels have been fired in the territory.

The owners of the hotels says that due to the huge losses they have suffered in the past over three weeks, they were not able to pay their loan installments let alone the salary of their employees.

Fayaz Ahmed Lone, a hotel owner at Boulevard in Srinagar said that since August 05, when Narendra Modi-led communal government in New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to occupied Kashmir, they had suffered huge losses. “I had 25 staffers including waiters and cooks. I have fired 16 in the first phase and three more in the second phase as I am not able to pay them their monthly salary due to the prevailing situation that has taken a serious toll on the tourism industry,” he said.

At hotel Pine and Peaks in Gulmarg, due to the tension in the wake of scrapping of Article 370, the hotel management has laid off 30 staffers including eight cooks and waiters. “When hotel is empty, we decided to lock it down for some time with a hope that situation improves. But one thing is clear that financial position of all the hoteliers is in a sorry state of affairs,” Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, who owns hotel Pine and Peaks told media men.

Arshid Rasool, who was working as a waiter at hotel Emperor on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, talking to media said that he was asked to quit his job by the hotel management that cited deteriorating financial position in the backdrop of repeal of Article 370.

Since August 05, an unprecedented clampdown has been imposed in occupied Kashmir amid heavy deployment of Indian forces. Mobile phone services and all kinds of internet facilities have been snapped while strict curbs have been imposed across the Kashmir valley especially in Srinagar. Since then, schools and colleges are shut and normal life across the territory remains badly affected.

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