J&K administration on Sunday approved the proposal of Tourism Department to provide subsidized timber for repairs and maintenance of houseboats and taxi shikaras.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the Administrative Council (AC) chaired by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.

As per an official, the decision will provide timber for minor/periodical repairs and maintenance/upkeep of registered houseboats on 50% concessional rate upto a maximum of 70% requirement or 30 Cft, whichever is less, through the Forest Department. The timber will be provided to the beneficiaries once in six years.

Similarly, for reconstruction and major repairs of houseboats, the timber will be provided on one-time basis, on 50% concessional rate upto a maximum of 70% of the requirement or 80 CFT, whichever is less.

In case of registered taxi Shikaras, the timber will be provided for periodical repairs/ maintenance on 50% concessional rates to a maximum of 70% of requirement or 15 CFT, whichever is less, once in five years.

Under this initiative, the eligible houseboat owners and Shikarawalas will be identified by the Director Tourism, Kashmir, who will purchase the required quantity of timber to be further distributed; through e-auction from the J&K Forest Development Corporation Limited.