JHRBA urges government to help the sinking hotel industry

A meeting of the Jammu Hotels, Restaurant and Bar association ( JHRBA ) was held yesterday where great concern was expressed over acute financial distress being faced by the hotels in Jammu. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Raju Chowdhary, President of JHRBA and Managing Director of Hotel Ramada Jammu City Centre.

Hotel industry of Jammu has already been on the ventilator since August 2019 and with the recent unprecedented pandemic the hotels have been closed since March 2020 when the new guidelines for opening up were released by the Government allowing hotels to operate. It was expected that some business will start. But various issues have cropped up which have brought the hotels to a standstill and most of the hotels have not been able to restart their operations. Major problems being faced by the hotels were discussed.

To the shock and surprise of the hoteliers and also the passengers, all the air passengers are being sent to Katra  for compulsory Quarantine thus leaving the Jammu hotels in lurch as they are dependent on the air Traffic  for their occupancy and with the air passengers being sent to Katra, it has just added to the woes. 

According to MHA Guidelines, wedding functions of up to 50 people would be done but practically there is a lack of communication to the ground level and lot of times, hotels are being harassed by the local Thana and revenue officials.

A lot of stock of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages is lying unused in the hotels with some already expired and the others due to expire thus adding to the financial troubles of the hotels.

Electricity charges was the biggest concern which was discussed. It has been highlighted time and again that minimum charges should be dispensed with and the actual consumption should be charged with the demand charges being waived off till the hotels resume operations and are able to bring themselves back to some standing.                                                                          

President JHRBA, Mr. Raju Chowdhary urged the government to help the beleaguered Hotel Industry to stand on its feet. That Katra should not be used as a quarantine centre and the passengers should be given the option of staying at different hotels in Jammu as majority of the hotels are Lying absolutely vacant and SOP’s are already in place in accordance with the guidelines of the MHA and with no revenue, this would be the last hope for the already sinking industry and also it has been causing a lot of inconvenience to the passengers as they are being transported 60 kms away upon landing in Jammu and then the families have to travel to Katra to bring them back to Jammu. 

Allow home delivery of alcoholic beverages as is being done in Haryana and Karnataka and also allow sale of alcoholic beverages in marriage related functions being held in the hotels. 

Waive minimum demand charges for the lockdown period so that in this time of zero inflow of revenue, hotels are not saddled with heavy electricity bills. “Very little concern is being shown towards the tourism sector and it will be pertinent to mention here that  tourism is the backbone of J&K’s economy and the major job creator giving huge job opportunities to the locals.”

The other members present were Mr. Rattandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director Hotel Asia, Mr. Chander Gupta, Managing Director Hotel Fortune Inn Riviera Jammu, Mr. Vikram Gupta, Managing Partner Hotel Radisson Blu,  Mr. Chaitanya Chowdhary, Managing Director Hotel Zone By The Park, Mr. Siddhant Chowdhary, Director Hotel Ramada Jammu City Centre and Mr. Sanjeev Prabhakar, Managing Director Hotel Anutham.