HC directs halt in Gulmarg constructions

Illegal constructions on at various spots in tourist resort of Gulmarg despite High Court ban. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Illegal constructions on at various spots in tourist resort of Gulmarg despite High Court ban. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, June 19: The Registrar High Court Masarat Shaheen today directed that all constructions at Gulmarg should be stopped immediately till further orders after she conducted a surprise inspection of illegal constructions going on in Gulmarg on the name of repairs.
Sources said that Chief Justice Geeta Mittal has taken serious note of the reports of illegal constructions in Gulmarg despite court directions banning all types of constructions in environmentally fragile tourist resort.
The Hotel Hilltop, Stereo and City Centre were caught carrying out illegal constructions by the Registrar of the court and she directed that they should be stopped immediately.
Hilltop was given permission to carry out repairs of bathrooms, but the owner had started major repair works of rooms and was creating more facilities. The work was on when the Registrar visited the tourist resort.
Hotel Pride Resorts was also found to have resorted to illegal constructions. The Registrar has directed the concerned to demolish the structures that have been erected illegally.
Khilanhat has also been found resorting to illegal constructions. The Registrar has directed the concerned to demolish the structures that have been erected illegally.
The Registrar has directed that there should be no construction in Gulmarg till further orders. She has also directed that all illegal constructions raised on the name of repairs should be immediately demolished.
It may be mentioned here that Excelsior last week reported that five hotels had resorted to massive construction works in Gulmarg on the name of repairs against High Court directions. These hotels included Pride Inn, Khilanhut, City View, Pine Palace and Royal Castle.
These hotels were given permission for the renovation under High Court directions but they were carrying out massive construction works. Besides they had felled several pine trees and the Forest Department officials were hand in glove with them and didn’t bother to take any action against them.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, GN Itoo, had also ordered inquiry into illegal constructions and sought report from a committee formed to look into it. Sources said that he has given directions that strict action be taken against all those officials under whose nose these illegal constructions were taking place.