Winter is coming, it is likely that the J&K administrator will soon change the detainees of the J&K hotel

SRINAGAR: As winter begins, the J&K administration is looking for accommodation to transfer 34 political detainees from the Centaur Hotel here, as it lacks proper heating arrangements, authorities said.

The winter cold began to affect the health of the detainees, and the leaders of the Popular Conference and prominent social activists, and the security personnel who watch over them.

They have been housed in the hotel at the bank since August 5 when the central government announced its decision to repeal the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution and divide the state into two territories of the Union. According to development officials, Centaur Hotel, owned by the Tourism Development Corporation of India (ITDC), has submitted an invoice of Rs 2.65 million to the department of origin for 90 days of boarding and lodging of the detained

However, the administration rejected the claims of the Centaur Hotel and argued that the facility became a subsidiary jail on August 5 and, therefore, government fees would be paid.

Rates sanctioned by the administration would be around 800 per day compared to 5,000 charged by the hotel, officials said.

During winter, the temperature in Srinagar falls below the freezing point. The administrative headquarters in the newly created territory of the Union moved from Srinagar to Jammu during the winter months. Officials said some measures will be taken soon to move detainees to different locations.

The MLA hostel on Residency Road, in the heart of the city, could have been an alternative accommodation, but is now occupied by former MLAs from Jammu and newly elected councilors. Not willing to evict the former MLAs and councilors, the administration has begun looking for a state or private hotel to transfer detainees, they said.

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