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Amritsar restaurants & hotels charged retrospective water cess as of 1978


Cess is for those with a borewell. Industry terms this as harassment and not levying the cess as the government’s mistake.

Amritsar’s restaurateurs & hoteliers have urged the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to withdraw its new notice to charge water cess retrospectively as of 1978 for drawing underground water through submersible borewells.

60 members of the Amritsar Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHARA) led by its president APS Chatha held a meeting with the five-member PPCB team.

PPCB chairman Manpreet Singh Chattwal led the meeting where he asked AHARA members to deposit the water cess with effect from 1978, when the law was enacted or from the year their hotels were established. The compounded value of this cess is yet to be calculated.

AHARA members meeting with PPCB chairman, Manpreet Singh Chattwal (centre). Pics: RK Soni

AHARA members meeting with PPCB chairman, Manpreet Singh Chattwal (centre). Pics: RK Soni

The industry, accompanied by SAD leader Rajinder Singh Marwaha, requested the PPCB delegation to implement the water cess from the current year this retrospective approach would lead to harassment of hoteliers.

AHARA feels that not implementing the law after its enactment in 1978 is the government’s folly and also urged the PPCB officials to withdraw notices served on hotels to install sewerage treatment plants (STPs) in their units.

AHARA is of the view that there was no point in installing equipment for treatment of kitchen water in hotels as there was no STP in the city. Treating waste at hotels would be of no use when it would be released in the drains, it added. The association said the process for installing the two STPs of massive capacity by the government was underway in the city.

While expressing their helplessness, the visiting PPCB delegates said notices were issued under the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal. They asked hoteliers to abide by pollution norms. PPCB said high pollution levels had a bad affect on the Golden Temple. Therefore, PPCB chairman, Chattwal asked hoteliers to treat kitchen waste before disposing it off.

Source: The Tribune

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