HC Orders Sealing Of All Illegal Constructions At Gulmarg

Srinagar: Taking serious note of reports about illegal constructions at Gulmarg, the court directed the district administration that no building or any other material shall be transported to Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir district of Baramulla till further orders.

A single bench of HC comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Mohammad Rafiq Zargar in 2012 seeking directions to save Gulmarg and Tangmarg from encroachments and pollution,  formed an expert committee headed by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla to ensure that no illegal structure is constructed in Gulmarg.

The court  directed Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla to seal all the illegal constructions after on-spot inspection of the tourist resort.

The committee, comprising DC and SSP shall visit the Gulmarg by tomorrow. It shall ensure that no illegal constructional activities are carried at Gulmarg. The court directed the authorities to seal all illegal structures.

Justice Attar asked the expert committee to file the latest status report about the visit and any kind of illegal constructions by or before the next date of hearing, which will be held in the week commencing from December 19.

The court said that Dal Lake, river Jhelum, famed health resort of Pahalgam and other tourist places are facing the threat of extinction due to illegal constructions. Land mafia seems hell bent to destroy picturesque Pahalgam where hundreds of structures have popped up illegally in recent years. Other key resorts such as Sonamarg, Dodhpathri, Yusmarg, Kokernag etc are under a similar threat from land mafia who have encroached upon hundreds of kanals of land in alleged connivance with revenue department officials.

The court said that some powerful persons are in illegal possession of state land.  But if there would be a poor man in their place, you would throw him out within seconds, the court observed and reminded the government of its duty to enforce the law of land.

Since all construction activities in Gulmarg have been stopped by the court and if any person violates the court directions, the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) shall forthwith seal such structure, the court said.

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