KI News

HC greenlights constructions by Army at Gulmarg

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Directs BOCA Gulmarg to grant necessary permissions

Srinagar: The J&K high Court has directed the J&K government to permit the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India, to raise fresh constructions for “operational and accommodation purposes” for its own and foreign officers and troops at the Gulmarg ski resort.

The orders were passed on an application by MoD seeking “permission to commence existing and fresh constructions relating to operational training of its forces including providing accommodation for own and foreign officers and troops along with the allied infrastructure at Gulmarg in phases.”

Pertinently, the High Court has ordered a blanket ban on all sorts of constructions in the ski resort while adjudicating a 2012 public interest petition by an environmental campaigner Mohammad Rafiq Zargar.

He had urged the court’s intervention for prevention of the loss of the famed hill and ecologically fragile tourist spot of Kashmir. The area is in existential crisis due to pollution, encroachments and a spree of constructions.

According to the petition by the MoD, Gulmarg is a key location. “It acts as the fulcrum of operations of the Indian Army in maintaining the Line of Control of the nation. It also hosts the unique High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) which trains the Indian Army and armies of friendly nations,” it said.

Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and W S Nargal considered the application saying “this pertains to the defence and security of the nation, the matter is remitted to the Building Operations and Controlling Authority (BOCA) Gulmarg for grant of necessary permission.”

It directed “the BOCA shall accordingly do the needful for grant of permission to the applicant – Indian Army in order to enable them to make necessary repair/fresh construction in accordance with the norms, as applicable.”

The counsel for the applicant MoD, Deputy Solicitor General of India, informed the court that they have already approached the BOCA authorities at Gulmarg.

The bench directed “the authorities shall consider the MoD demand and pass appropriate orders keeping in mind the strategic significance and security of the nation, as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of one month from today.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *