Rashid Paul

No further constructions be allowed at Gulmarg: J&K HC

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Directs PCB to ensure all hotels have proper sewerage facilities

Srinagar: The J&K High Court Wednesday ordered that no further construction shall be allowed at Gulmarg and that the Pollution Control Board (PCB) shall ensure that all hotels at the tourist resort have proper sewerage and drainage facilities.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed a decade ago seeking restoration of prestige and pristine glory of the Gulmarg tourist resort, a division bench of the court ordered that no further construction shall be allowed to be raised on the land falling within the scope of the subject of the PIL.

The bench directed the chairman PCB to “ensure that all the hotels in Gulmarg have proper sewerage and drainage facilities” and that the Chief Conservator of Forests shall ensure that no tree is cut down in Gulmarg.

The bench noticed “valuable time of registrar judicial of J&K High Court is spent for spot verification of the constructions, violations and deviations, etcetera”.

It said that this has consequently affected the working in the High Court.

Without going into further details, the bench modified the order that had appointed Registrar Judicial as the Court Commissioner in the PIL.

The bench ordered that henceforth as and when a need arises for any spot inspection or services of Court Commissioner in the PIL, the officer will be appointed according to requirement and nature of inspection to be made.

It observed that A Chesti, Amicus Curiae, has been assisting the court in the instant PIL for last nine years.

“In view of effective responses and suggestions being made by the Amicus Curiae, it has become necessary to direct CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority, to pay an amount of Rs 25,000 to A Chesti, Amicus Curiae, for meeting his certain expenses”.

The court has previously passed slew of directions in the PIL and in consequence there of a high level meeting chaired by J&K Chief Secretary was held, in which threadbare discussion had taken place and various steps were taken for preserving the glory of Gulmarg.

It was also decided to initiate fresh process for formulation of master plan for the resort.

A number of committees were also constituted, including the one to consider extension and renewal of leases in respect of live lease cases and expired lease cases.

A direction was also issued to CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority, to submit details regarding illegal constructions and violations.

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