Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed Chief Executive Officer of Gulmarg Development Authority to “assist” it in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking directions to save the tourist resort Gulmarg from encroachments and pollution.
“Concerned senior officer of Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) shall remain present on that date (of hearing) to assist the court,” said a division bench of Justices R Sudhakar and Ali Mohammad Magrey and posted the PIL for next hearing on March 1.
It also directed concerned officials to file reply or objections to the applications filed by people about various issues about the subject matter of the PIL.
In the previous hearing, advocate general had stated that Draft Master Plan for Gulmarg would be placed before the cabinet for its approval.
“We hope and trust that in the interest of state and the government itself, the decision in this regard will be taken at the earliest,” the court had said and directed concerned to file the compliance report.
The direction had followed submissions by senior advocate Z A Shah that because of non-framing of master plan for Gulmarg, people are facing huge difficulties.
The court had also clarified that only those constructional activities were to be stopped which were being raised without grant of permission by the competent authority and all constructional material, which were being transported illegally, had to be seized by the concerned authorities.
The clarification followed court’s directions on December 15that all constructional activities be stopped at Gulmarg. The court has also directed that no building or constructional material shall be transported to Gulmarg till further orders. The Advocate General had submitted that because of these directions, all constructional activities, which are to be carried out in pursuance to valid permissions, have come to a standstill at Gulmarg.
“The directions were issued in peculiar background…. The status report by the SSP Baramulla was taken note of in the court order, in which it was alleged that illegal constructions were going on in Gulmarg. Thereafter, the CEO, Gulmarg and AEE GDA, were asked to file their response to the report of SSP Baramulla. In view of the report filed by the CEO, Gulmarg, it transpired that without grant of permission by the competent statutory authority for effecting renovations, permissions were granted by the authority for transportation of the constructional material to Gulmarg,” the court had said, adding that it was in this background that it directed all constructional activities shall be stopped forthwith, and no constructional material shall be transported to the Gulmarg.
The bench was hearing the PIL filed in 2012 by one Mohammad Rafiq Zargar, seeking directions to for protection of fragile environment of Gulmarg.