HC warns Govt over delay in Gulmarg Master Plan

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Feb 27: Taking strong note of delay in preparing and finalizing the Master Plan for famous tourist resort Gulmarg by the Government, High Court today warned the authorities for calling them before the court in case decision is not taken by next date.
The Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing PIL on conservation and protection of the Gulmarg directed the Government in case positive decision for finalizing the Master Plan is not taken, then the Court will be forced to call all concerned before the court.
“…If any positive decision is not taken and status report not filed on the next date, the Bench will be constrained to call for personal appearance of all the concerned who have delayed the process”, DB recorded in the order.
State counsel has moved an application seeking further three weeks time for taking final decision regarding preparing and finalizing of Master Plan. Court in view of the said application and submission made by the state counsel granted three weeks’ time for the same.
It is way back five years, Court said, that direction was issued regarding preparation and finalization of Master plan. “We are now in the year 2018; till date same has not fructified. Public Interest Litigation has an object to redress the grievances of the general public and to advance the cause of the public but execution lies in the hands of Government agencies”, court said.
Court during the proceedings of the matter observed that the approach adopted is totally unaccepted. “If five years have been taken for preparation of the master plan what more can be said. Now least said is better”, Court said.
With regard to continuous check on functioning of STPs of Hotels in and around the resort, the Pollution Control Board has submitted the report wherein it is stated that out of 14 Category-A hotels having more than 19 rooms were inspected in the month of December 2017. Four hotels were found functional and samples were collected from these hotels and sent for analysis, whereas in five hotels STPs were found frozen; two hotels were found without any commercial activities and one STP was damaged due to winters.
Court has granted time for filing of fresh status report from PCB in view of the harshness of the winter and the consequent frozen position in Gulmarg.
About the land granted on lease to the beneficiaries for which court had sought details, Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority in lieu of court compliance has submitted the report regarding beneficiaries of the lessee.
In the report, it is projected that there were few difficulties, one that the Gulmarg area is covered with snow and that the authorities required assistance of the Revenue authorities for demarcation and consequent action for removal of the encroachments.
Court directed the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla to provide all assistance, whatever, required and as shall be requested for by the chief Executive Officer GDA. “Latest status be filed by or before next date”, Court directed.