Orders immediate action against occupants whose lease expired
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday came down heavily on Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) for shielding the hoteliers and other building owners in Gulmarg resort whose leases have expired but are still occupying the premises.
The court warned the GDA to take ‘immediate action’ against those occupants whose leases have expired or court will direct for auctioning the properties adding that the authority will be responsible for its casual approach.
Taking a tough stand on retention and withholding of public property beyond time limit, the court observed the GDA counsel that it appears the authority (GDA) is shielding the encroachers which cannot be allowed at the cost of ecology of resort.
The Court said, “on one hand the lease of various properties has expired and on the other hand the property seems to be in the position of lease holders and such kind of delay on the part of authorities cannot be tolerated.’
While referring to the SRO 580 wherein it is provided that the maximum period for which a lease could be granted was 40 years and no extension beyond this period is permissible and the earlier report of GDA reveals that most of the leases granted to persons have expired.
The Court has already recorded that it is trite that public property is held in public trust by the respondents and has to be dealt with in a non-arbitrary and transparent manner ensuring that public interest is best served.
In February of this year, the government had placed Master Plan Gulmarg before the court by submitting that the occupants whose leases have expired in the resort will be dealt according to law.ble. The total financial implication for setting up these services is Rs 60 crore,” he added. PTI