HC seeks cabinet decision on Gulmarg Master Plan

HC seeks cabinet decision on Gulmarg Master Plan

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the government to submit a report about the decision taken by the state cabinet on the master plan for Gulmarg, the ecologically fragile tourist-resort in north Kashmir.
Hearing public interest litigation (PIL), a division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed asked authorities to place the copy of master plan before the cabinet in its meeting scheduled next week. “It’s outcome be placed before the court on next date of hearing,” the division bench said.
It also sought complete picture of Gulmarg by way of map delineating total extent of area of the ecologically fragile resort. The direction followed perusal of a report by authorities about the total area of the Gulmarg. “It is not correct,” the court said, and sought the map.
The court said that while use of polythene and plastic material in and around the Gulmarg was banned, it remains in use. It directed Municipal Committee of Gulmarg (MCG) to ensure strict compliance to ban on use of polythene and plastic in the area.
The court also directed J&K State Cable Car Corporation to ensure that people carrying no polythene while using Gandola. “It will prevent people taking any kind of polythene or plastic item to Kangdoori or Afarwat area”.
It also directed secretary tourism to come up with the proposal for disposal of biodegradable solid waste and its recycling. It also directed the GDA as well as MCG to ensure the segregation of solid waste under rules.
The court was also appraised about the functioning of Sewerage Treatment Plants installed in the hotels. “Out of 23 hotels, 15 have been found to be violating the norms,” the court was informed by the authorities. Subsequently, the court directed the State Pollution Control Board to ensure that the norms are fully complied with and STP made functional by the hoteliers.
With regard to installation of common STP, the court was informed it was under process and detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared by the GDA. “Status of the DPR be filed by next date,” the court ordered. Court also sought a report on quality of the water in the resort and directed the SPCB to conduct analysis of water every month.
The PIL was filed in 2012 by one Mohammad Rafiq Zargar, seeking directions for protection of fragile environment of Gulmarg.

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