Delhi Assembly passes Bed & Breakfast Bill

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New Delhi, Sep 17 (UNI) Amid protests from the Opposition, the Delhi Assembly today passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Incredible India) Bed and Breakfast Establishments (Registration and Regulations) Bill, 2007, which allows owners of residential houses in the city to let out their premises to tourists through a simple registration.

Introducing the Bill, Delhi Tourism Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the step would go a long way in overcoming the scarcity of accommodation in the Capital city during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The bill would enable the owners of residential units, who voluntarily offer the bed and breakfast to the visitors, to get registered.

Mr Singh said the scheme would enable visitors to have the experience of staying with Indian families to obtain an exposure to the culture, cuisine, ideas and way of life and enrich their experience.

The Bill, however, met with protests from the BJP, with Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi, calling upon the Government to take some precautions as the scheme had the potential of endangering safety of people of Delhi, especially women.

Speaking on the Bill, Saheb Singh Chauhan of the BJP said, ''after the passing of the Bill, women will not be safe in the city''.

He demanded the Bill be referred to a select committee before being passed.

''The Bill will lead to disastrous consequences,'' Prof Mukhi said.

Dismissing the apprehensions of the Opposition, the Tourism Minister said, ''the scheme does not force anybody to let out their accommodation for tourists. It is only for those, who are willing to let out their premises for paying guests''.

The Minister said there was a wide gap between the demand and supply of hotel accommodation in the city and an additional 30,000 rooms would be required to cater to the tourist inflow in the City during the Commonwealth Games 2010.

''An urgent action is needed to augment availability of accommodation in other ways,'' he said.

The Bill was passed by a voice vote.

The House also passed, with certain amendments, the Delhi Fire Service Bill, 2007, which seeks to provide for the maintenance of a fire service and make more effective provisions for fire prevention and safety measures in certain buildings and premises in Delhi.

The Chief Minister also introduced the National Law School of Delhi University Bill, 2007 in the House for establishment of a university by the name of National Law School in Delhi University.

This was followed by the introduction in the House by Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia of the Indian Stamp (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2007, seeking to amend the Indian Stamp Act, 1899.

UNI

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