Pahalgam: Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has demolished the two-storey restaurant which had come up illegally in the past three months in the Aru Valley.
PDA CEO Riyaz Wani said the building has been razed to ground on Tuesdayby his demolition squad. Two days ago, Kashmir Reader had reported a hotelier had constructed the restaurant there in contravention to High Court’s ban on construction under the ambit of PDA. The hotelier, Dr Ehsan had claimed he constructed the restaurant after obtaining a No Objection Certificate from both PDA and the wildlife department.
It is to be noted that Kashmir Reader on July 13 did a comprehensive report on the issue in which it was reported the said hotelier claimed that Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) and wildlife department permitted him to construct a two-storey restaurant adjacent to his guesthouse, River Front Resort, in Aru Valley’s wildlife zone.
The hotelier, Dr Ehsan, had told Kashmir Reader that he constructed the restaurant three-months back after obtaining a No Objection Certificate from both PDA and the wildlife department.
“I have 1 Kanal and 18 marlas of land in wildlife area in Aru. I got proper permission from PDA and Wildlife department for construction of the restaurant. You can check the records,” Dr Ehsan told Kashmir Reader on July 13.
PDA chief executive officer Riyaz Ahmad, however, had denied that permission has been granted for the construction, citing 2010 high court order banning all constructions in PDA’s jurisdiction.
Kashmir Reader had learnt that wildlife authorities were tipped off about the illegal restaurant but they sat over the complaint. In fact, two field officials in the department facilitated the hotelier to raise the building.
When public pressure mounted on the authorities, a team of PDA removed a few tin sheets off the restaurant’s roof but only after the construction work had been completed, sources had old Kashmir Reader.