Court pulls up government over Pahalgam master plan

Court pulls up government over Pahalgam master plan
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No order of court is preventing from implementing the plan; No repair or reconstruction without permission of BOCA

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed state government to implement revised master plan in Pahalgam and further passed directions that proper demarcation of different zones with survey numbers be placed before the court within four weeks.
The court observed that after survey numbers are identified same shall be notified so that it becomes part of revised master plan.
In a Public Interest Litigation by Peoples Welfare Organization Pahalgam, The division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said, “Court has recorded that government by order dated 16-09-2015 had sanctioned revised Master Plan. Therefore no order of court is preventing from implementing the plan.”
Justice Durrez said, “After the survey numbers are specified to wildlife zone, forest zone and buffer zone, it should be updated in the website of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag and Department of Tourism. It should also be notified as per law so that it becomes part of revised master plan.”
Revised Master plan also takes care of existing structures in different zones. In view of illegal structures, the HC forbade any further construction. “No repair or reconstruction on any existing structure shall be carried out without the permission of BOCA (Building operation controlling authority),” the court said.
Alongside, it directed to state government to list the illegal constructions and disallow any new construction in Pahalgam.
On 7th September 2015, the cabinet had approved the revised Master Plan for Pahalgam ­– terming it Pahalgam 2032. the master plan was prepared keeping in mind the sensitive ecology while taking care of the requirements for tourism and development,.
In the revised master plan, an action plan for solid waste management, sewage disposal and water supply was also prepared for the entire area of Pahalgam Development Authority including the existing village settlements.
Concerned about solid waste and treatment of sewage, the court ordered authorities to come up with the policy of segregation of the solid waste at a source.
“We were told that treated sewage flows into river Lidder. We want to ascertain sewage treatment under law,” the court said.
Further, the HC asked CEO Pahalgam Development Authority to mention the measures taken for tackling the menace of polythene in Pahalgam.
Regarding the famous Overa Wildlife Sanctuary, the court said the sanctuary needs to have separate website so that people are aware of various species.
“Surveys of various species should be conducted. Some of them are endangered and needs protection. A separate website should be made within four weeks,” said Justice Durrez.


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