Karnataka's Jamna and Kashmir luxury hotel plan becomes problematic

BENGALURU: Three months after it was discussed, the government's ambitious proposal to manage a luxury hotel in Jammu and Kashmir could not take off due to technical reasons including the absence of Internet and mobile services in J&K and the change in the state of J&K from one state to the territory of the Union.

The state government had proposed a luxury hotel in J&K shortly after the Center revoked its special status to the state in September last year. Tourism Minister CT Ravi had written to the then governor of J&K, Satyapal Malik, and described the intention of the state government.

The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) would manage the hotel. Speaking to TOI, KSTDC MD Kumar Pushkar said the government plans to buy 10 to 15 acres of land in J&K.

We want to make it easier for Karnataka tourists to frequent J&K for religious events like the Amarnath Yatra, said Pushkar. “More than commercial viability, we are looking for a property to serve citizens. However, we still have to know about the J&K administration.

Authorities said the communication blockade had hindered the efforts. “We couldn't communicate with the officials to know the status of our proposal. This included the governor's office, a senior official said.

However, Pushkar said he managed to get in touch with the J&K tourism director a few days ago and that the proposal has been developed. If necessary, a Karnataka team will visit J&K for further negotiation, Pushkar said.

The other major problem was the change in J&K status. “The minister’s first letter was addressed to the J&K state government. Now, they are changing it to UT and have asked for a new process.

The governor of J&K had, in fact, given me an appointment on December 20, but due to protests against the CAA, the meeting was canceled, Ravi said.