In a recent devastating fire several houseboats were reduced to ashes in Dal Lake of Srinagar, bringing focus back on the growing number of damaged houseboats and delay over their repairs and reconstruction. In the recent fire incident, not only a few tourists were torched to death, but five houseboats were also damaged in the incident.
Recently, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, requesting him for the prompt orders from the administration to provide the required permissions for repairs and reconstruction of hundreds of houseboats, as delay has been for the years together. While talking to media, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) President Javed Ahmad Tenga said, “207 damaged or destroyed houseboats from 2009 till date are waiting for the required permissions from the government to bring them back on the waters of Dal and Nigeen Lakes.” He said that they have discussed with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to address this growing crisis of diminishing houseboats in Dal and Nigeen Lakes of Kashmir valley as it has an impact on the tourism industry.
In a statement, KCCI on Friday said, “KCCI put forth specific short-term suggestions to address the crisis starting with immediate relief and rehabilitation for the affected, permission for the reconstruction of houseboats, residential, and service hutments under a single-window system to tackle impending severe weather conditions, supply=== of timber from the State Forest Corporation at subsidized rates on a fast-track basis and upgrading fire-fighting services in Dal and Nigeen Lakes.”
The construction and maintenance of houseboats is a growing problem in the tourism sector of Kashmir valley.