DB grants last opportunity for filing detailed affidavit

PIL seeking development of Mantalai-Sudh Mahadev

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Oct 3: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Sumit Nayyar seeking development of tourist infrastructural facilities at Mantalai-Sudh Mahadev, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sanjay Gupta today granted final opportunity of one week for filing detailed affidavit as per the earlier direction.
On last date of hearing the DB had sought to know whether the plans for all the three projects have already been approved and if they were already approved and the amount is available, then why all the three works could not be executed simultaneously.
After hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi and petitioner in person, the DB observed, “status report dated 25.07.2018 has been filed pursuant to the directions dated 22.05.2018. In the status report only a general statement is made with regard to the utilization of the funds, which had been sanctioned for the integrated development of the tourist spots of Mantalai, Sudh Mahadev and Patnitop”.
“An amount of Rs. 97.82 crore appears to have been sanctioned by the Government of India in this regard on 29.09.2016. As per the status report, only an amount of Rs. 19.56 crore has been spent as on July 2018”, the DB further said, adding “about the project of Mantalai, it is stated that the NIT has been issued and the work is in progress, which is to be completed by the year 2021”.
“Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi has submitted that the work in progress reflected in the status report is only with regard to the Yoga and Wellness Centre. It is stated that Yoga and Wellness Centre are only one out of eighteen works for which an amount had been sanctioned in favour of the authorities”, the DB said, adding “as far as tourist spots at Patnitop are concerned, it appears that no progress has been made even when an amount of Rs. 9.02 crore had been sanctioned”.
“According to the status report, the work appears to be stalled on account of some objections raised by the Forest Department”, the DB further observed, adding “the status report does not give details as to what steps have been taken by the authority in regard to other projects for Mantalai and Sudh Mahadev”.
With regard to the proper utilization of the existing infrastructure of Dhirendra Brahamchari, a stand has been taken by the official respondents that the same would be renovated/ upgraded with a view to beneficially integrate the building, to be used along with the planned infrastructure sought to be created in terms of the plans sanctioned and being executed.
DB directed Tourism and Planning Departments to file affidavit as to what further action has been taken in regard to the stand taken by them in objections of providing the requisite monetary support from the State Capex Budget.


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