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HC expresses displeasure over Tourism Deptt report on Pahalgam

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Feb 10: The State High Court today, while expressing displeasure over the report filed by Tourism Department regarding finalization of revised master plan for the famous tourist resort Pahalgam, directed for detailed report by next date.
After perusal of the status report filed by Tourism and Culture Department, the HC said  that it is not in tune with the directions and issues which are supposed to be dealt with and directed the authorities to file a fresh detailed report in terms of directions passed in September 2015.
“On perusal of the report, we feel that the same does not deal with the issues that were required to be dealt with”, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal mentioned in the order while expressing displeasure over the report.
The Government finalized revised master plan of entire Pahalgam area which was based on the recommendations of the expert committee under the directions of the Court and thereafter presented it before court which raised queries like clarification with regard to wildlife zone and forest area.
Status report regarding the issues raised by the court didn’t indicate anywhere as in what manner these issues have been dealt with in the revised master plan as such court is not satisfied with the report filed by the Under Secretary of the department.
Court directed the authorities to file the detailed report before it by next date of hearing in the matter in tune with the decision and recommendations of the expert committee. Court has banned all constructions within two meters from nallah Lidder and had asked the Government to decide about the old constructions which were already there as to whether these constructions will be relocated or not.
The Government was also required to clarify about wildlife sanctuary while both PDA as well as Wildlife department claiming jurisdiction and had asked for a detailed report giving clarifications about all the queries from the concerned departments.
The court is dealing with the instant PIL about the protection of ecologically fragile environs of Pahalgam from further destruction and damage caused by pollutants and concrete constructions which were raised without any permission.
It is proposed that in the revised Master Plan among other issues an action plan for solid waste management, sewage disposal and water supply be prepared for the entire local area of Pahalgam including the existing village settlements.
As such a committee was constituted by Government to prepare the revised draft Master Plan to incorporate suggestions of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) team which was constituted on directions of court.

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