HC directs for putting Gulmarg encroachments matter before committee

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept 28: As there is contradiction between authorities with regard to leased property at world famous Skii resort Gulmarg and violation of building permissions, High Court directed for placing these issues before newly constituted committee to verify the same and report has on next date.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta during the proceeding has been informed that the Chief Secretary has constituted a committee headed by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir as directed by the court for resolving the issue of declaring the big chunk of forest land either into Gulmarg bowl or as demarcated area of Maqbooza-Janglat.
The division bench directed the committee to place the action taken report (ATR) before it on next date. Advocate Hakim Suhail appearing for court commissioner informed the court with regard to the reports of the Deputy Commissioner Baramulla and Chief Executive Officer Gulmarg Development Authority. DC Baramulla has in his report pointed out that there are 18 structures which have no lease at all while as CEO GDA gives different information to the court.
The report of DFO Tangmarg revealed earlier that 5190 kanals of land in Gulmarg is forest land and is required to be either included in Gulmarg Bowl or the Government order is required to be modified to the extent of transferring the said land as demarcated Forest Land and falling under designated wildlife area as Gulmarg Development Authority as well as Forest Department are claiming their right on the said land. The said land is yet to be fenced reason being that Gulmarg Development Authority as well as Forest Department are claiming their right on the said land.
DB directed that these reports be placed before the newly constituted committee headed by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir in order to verify these report by making physical inspection on spot and placing the true position before the court on next date of hearing in the matter.
The matter as per the Court direction had to be brought before the Chief Secretary who has to ensure the issue is resolved at the earliest. Authorities have to examine the illegal and unauthorized constructions in and around the Gulmarg.
With regard to encroachments in the resort the report of Registrar Judicial who on the directions of court had visited the area as court commissioner reveals huge number of encroachments on forest as well as GDA land.
DB directed the CEO GDA to proceed to take action in accordance with law against all those persons who have violated the building permission which required the structures to be made of wood whereas concrete structures have been raised.
DFO Special Forest Division Tangmarg in his compliance report referred encroachments of various forest land by major hoteliers. “It appears that valuable forest land has been encroached and the encroachments are being permitted to be perpetuated with impunity. This is serious matter which needs to be looked into”, DB recorded.
Court in this connection sought details of land in Gulmarg and directed the Forest as well as Revenue Departments to place before the court the details of the total State land and Forest land in Gulmarg area.
Court passed these directions after considering the report of Registrar Judicial (court commissioner) which reveals. GDA has also to submit the decision and policy with regard to expired lease properties in Gulmarg before the court.