MUSSOORIE, June 25
The renting of rooms by online booking portals in the residential areas and using them commercially has irked the residence of Mussoorie who are of the view that it is creating security problem and adding to the water and electricity woes in the town.
Sunil Kumar Goel a resident of Bala Hisaar has filed a complaint in this regard against the certain online booking portal for commercially utilizing the rooms in the residential areas in Mussoorie Police station which is resulting in the revenue loss to the state government. Sunil Goel in his complaint has stated that most of such residential rooms are operating in the name of Homestay and that too without any registration in tourism department thus making them an illegal entity. Moreover, there is no record of the tourists who reside here, and this could lead to a security risk especially during any VIP movement in Mussoorie. Sunil Kumar said that due to such Homestays operating around his house and whole family is facing immense problem as the tourists knock the doors of their house especially in odd hours enquiring about room on rent causing immense trouble in the process.
Sunil further said that the renting of residential rooms is putting pressure on the drinking water supply, parking and other facilities that is already on edge in the town. The use of water commercially through the residential metered connection is illegal but these residential rooms are utilising the water meant for residential areas without paying commercial charges which was in a way ripping the government of the revenue that should be accruing to it.
The residents also alleged that most of the Hotels in Mussoorie have been sub-leased to the online booking portals in Mussoorie and the tax under GST is being collected from tourist but there is no information about whether it is being submitted in the state government exchequer or is being deposited outside the state, this should also be looked in. The complainant in this matter Sunil Goel when contacted said that he would be meeting the SDM Mussoorie in this regard on Monday and apprise her about the irregularities being done to the extent to bringing loss to the state exchequer.
The tourists are also miffed at being charged extra by the hotels that are in collaboration with the online booking portal. Vikki Bansal a tourist who had come to stay at Mussoorie said that the services provided by the hotel were of sub-standard nature and when they tried to complaint the hotel management entered in an argument with them and charged Rs 750 extra which was uncalled for.
When contacted Bhavna Kainthola, the Mussoorie police station incharge said that she has received the complaint in this regard filed by Sunil Goel and but stayed away from commenting any further.
When contacted the Booking hotel coordinator said that they tie up with the such residences that are registered under Homestay scheme of government for online booking.