Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday directed government authorities to file a fresh affidavit indicating details of the buildings/ structures which are unauthorised in Gulmarg and Tangmarg tourist spots.
Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) related to the conservation and preservation of Gulmarg, directed Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority, Chairman, Buildings Operations and Controlling Authority (BOCA), Director, Tourism, Divisional Commissioner, Revenue, and Chief Conservator of Forests to clearly indicate the position of all existing buildings in the area.
“The details of the buildings/ structures which are unauthorised, the legal action if any taken against them, and all other ancillary details on the subject, within a period of six weeks,” the HC demanded.
The bench also said, “Since we are confining the matter to the reliefs claimed in the writ petition and are examining the matter de novo, we do not deem it necessary for the time being to have the assistance of any amicus curiae or of any commissioner or committee.”
“Accordingly, any amicus curiae appointed earlier stands relieved of his office and so are the commissioners, if any appointed from time to time. The committees, if any, shall also stand dissolved. It is made clear that on filing of the affidavits as directed above, if necessary, the court may consider for the appointment of amicus curiae, commissioner or a committee afresh subsequently,” the bench said.
Also, the bench recorded that the earlier directions of the court for stopping of construction activities at Gulmarg/ Tangmarg shall remain in operation and if any person is found violating the same and continues with the construction activity, his/her property shall be sealed forthwith and no building or construction material shall be allowed to be transported in the area.
“It would be obligatory upon the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, SSP Baramulla and the Gulmarg Development Authority to ensure that no construction activities are carried out without the leave of the court,” the court directed.
It was also observed by the bench: “However, the court does not intend to usurp or take over the functions of the Development Authority or the BOCA and, as such, leaves it open for the authorities to entertain applications for the repairs and constructions of the buildings in accordance with the Master Plan and the by-laws, but the sanction, if any, shall not be implemented without taking prior approval of the court.”
“Since the order is running into thousands of pages, the Registry is directed to flag the effective and relevant orders passed by this Court from time to time and the various reports on record which are material for the decision of the PIL,” the bench directed