HC seeks update on Pahalgam conservation

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has called for an updated report from officials on compliance with court directives issued in 2015 for restoration and protection of Pahalgam resort.
The court while hearing the matter on Friday sought the report from Commissioner Secretary, Tourism Department; Commissioner Secretary, Revenue Department; Chief Town Planner, Kashmir; Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority; Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag; and Director Land Records, Kashmir.
The court directed the officers to file updated report with respect to the mechanism for identification of different no-construction zones on either side of River Lidder and thereafter make a copy of the Revised Master Plan with such identification made available to the general public.
The court also directed the officers to indicate in a fresh statement of facts, to be filed well before the next date of hearing, as to whether any scheme for relocation of built-up areas/ hamlets existing within the Wildlife and Forest Zone and rehabilitation of the people living in such areas/ hamlets was being formulated.
The court asked the respondents to make their stand as regards the status of buildings already constructed in no-construction zones on either side of Lidder River, Aru Nalla and Chandanwari Nalla.
The Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority, and the Chief Town Planner, Kashmir, submitted before the court that a definite track had been identified for ponies in the Revised Master Plan and the pony wallahs were not allowed to go beyond the said track. The officials could not answer about any mechanism currently in place for the proper management of horse dung at Pahalgam.
The court while giving time to respondents directed them to devise a mechanism for proper management of horse dung so that the image of the tourist place was not sullied.
“Let the respondents file their response on the above lines also by or before the next date of hearing. List (next hearing) on 21 April, 2020,” the court directed.

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