HC for policy to resolve issues in Gulmarg

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, July 28: The High Court today directed framing of policy in order to address and resolve the slew of issues of the famous tourist resort Gulmarg and directed the Government to inform the court with a comprehensive report regarding all the issues.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani directed for framing of policy in respect of Hotels and Hutments and other structures existing in and around Gulmarg bowl having come up either with or without permission of the authorities and are requiring repairs and maintenance on account of harsh weather conditions.
With regard to cases where lease has expired and hotels and hutments and other structures are existing thereupon, the DB directed the authorities to inform it as to whether Government proposes to extend lease in such cases.
If lease is extended, court added, for what terms and conditions and in case the lease is not agreed to be extended and has expired then and how would GDA deal with such cases.
Court has also directed for submitting a comprehensive report indicating therein as to whether any area is clearly earmarked and demarcated for raising of construction of hotels, hutments and structures and the manner and method the said unbuilt areas have to be dealt with.
“How the areas beyond the areas notified under Master Plan are to be handled and treated and how to attend immediate needs of the people living in Gulmarg, using their residential properties and what should be the mechanism in place to deal with the issues of maintenance of roads, pony tracks, horse riding, tracking, children parks etc. and how a proper balance between development, growth and environment would be ensured in Gulmarg,” the DB directed.
Court also sought information with regard to the status and position of the site of dumping of solid waste and how the said solid waste is being managed. “What is the position and status of Forest Land and Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary?”, Court enquired.
Court sought comprehensive report on these issues and directed the authorities to mention point to point response. Court accordingly directed the Advocate General, GDA counsel to file response thereto by or before the next date of hearing with an advance copy to counsel for the petitioner.
Court has also directed for formulation of a vision document based on the considerations like Environment, Forest Lands, average number of tourists visiting in Gulmarg, existing hotels with bed capacities, sanitation, installation of bio digesters etc.
Court noticed from the record of the proceedings that notwithstanding the Master Plan in place for Gulmarg and said these vital and important issues are required to be addressed at priority as the Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority, informed the court that the Gulmarg Master Plan is in place and stands notified and said plan is applicable only in certain areas to be implemented by the GDA.
During the course of hearing of the matter, court has been informed that the BOCA has considered 63 applications submitted by the hoteliers and hutments, in respect of the structures for grant of permission for repairs and renovation, out of which 37 application were allowed.