High Court dismayed over delay in Gulmarg master plan

High Court dismayed over delay in Gulmarg master plan
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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the delay in the Gulmarg Master plan since 2012 and warned of strict, measures if state fails to come with the plan at earliest.
The court said, “That valuable judicial time is wasted and when we see application of these public interest related issues nothing is being done on ground putting the lives and ecological balance of the nature in jeopardy.”
Hearing the PIL on Gulmarg, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe warned that serious view shall be taken by the court in case the Master Plan for Gulmarg is not finalized at the earliest.
Court in this connection directed the Chief Town Planner (CTP) to put his submission as also the communication which he referred before the court today before the Chief Secretary (CS) for taking up all necessary steps for finalization of Master Plan.
Court left it open for CS as to whether there is any need of changing the previous notification with regard to draft Master Plan or not. Court said, in case CS feels so then the same (changing of notification) be done with the consultation of relevant experts.
Court has been informed by Advocate General on the instructions of CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) that there is no impediment for CTP on continuing with his job in tune with court directions.
CTP in his submission said that he had addressed the said communication to Commissioner Secretary to Tourism Department for fresh notification with regard to re-definition of local areas of Gulmarg.
Chief Town Planner in his submission informed the court that the new draft Master Plan has to be revisited as there are certain discrepancies as also certain villages have been left out and are missing in the Master plan.
Court observed to him that CBI enquiry has to be ordered against those who while preparing the draft master plan left out these villages. “We will ensure that Master Plan see the light of the day. Such an eco-fragile tourist resort without Master Plan (MP) is unacceptable. We are not going to tolerate this kind of practice by the authorities as six years have lapsed and our concern is finalization of master plan”, Court observed.
Court recorded in the order that it is a shocking state of affairs that such an important issue (preparing of MP) has not been given full attention for completing the process as also local areas were not defined since from 2012.

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