Lease holders and hoteliers are foremost among the people who have committed illegal encroachment within the jurisdiction of Gulmarg Development Authority. It seems that the orders of the Court make no impact on the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) and the encroachers as well. A State where the civil authorities fail to carry out the instructions and orders of the Court is headed towards administrative disaster. For more than two decades since the PIL was filed before the Division Bench of the High Court, the Government has been fumbling on what next step it has to take to handle the encroachment crisis in Gulmarg. The Court is surprised how come that its orders are not implemented without delay. If the encroachments are not demolished now, it is very likely that these will never be removed and the Srinagar Master Plan will have to pay heavily for mishandling the question. It is in this background that the Court has directed the GDA to ensure that irregularities committed by the lease holders and hoteliers are rectified. It has to be reminded that the violation made by lease holders are at least two decades old and no action has been taken against them so far. The violations are in direct contravention of the Master Plan for the tourist resort of Gulmarg and, therefore, if the Master Plan is to be enforced in letter and spirit, then these violations must be put an end to.
Gulmarg has its own charm. It is the world renowned tourist spot and also the skiing spot in Kashmir. It is a treat for the Bollywood and provides most attractive natural scenery for exotic films. Above all Gulmarg is the icon of Kashmir tourism and has to be maintained in its pristine purity. We welcome the seriousness with which the Honourable High Court is pursuing the matter of ecological and environmental purity of this prestigious tourist destination of Kashmir.