HC Raps Govt For Delay In Gulmarg Master Plan   

“Such a eco-fragile tourist resort is without master Plan is unacceptable. We are not going to tolerate this kind of practice by the authorities as six years have lapsed.”

SRINAGAR —Terming the delay in finalizing Master Plan for Gulmarg, as shocking, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday said that it was unacceptable to have “eco-logically place” without the master plan.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe also directed the Chief Town Planner to put his submission as also the communication, which he referred to in his submissions, before the Chief Secretary for taking up all necessary steps for finalization of Master Plan.

The Court left it open for Chief Secretary as to whether there is any need for changing the previous notification with regard to draft Master Plan or not. In case Chief Secretary feels so, then changing of notification be done with the consultation of relevant experts, the court said.

The Advocate General on the instructions of CEO GDA informed the court that there was no impediment for CTP on continuing with his job in tune with court directions.

CTP in his submission said that he had addressed a communication to Commissioner Secretary to Tourism Department for fresh notification with regard to re-definition of local areas of Gulmarg.

He in his submission informed the court that the new draft Master Plan has to be revisited as there are certain discrepancies as also certain villages have been left out and are missing in the MP.

To these submissions, The Court observed that CBI enquiry has to be ordered against those who while preparing the draft master plan left out the villages. “We will ensure that master plan sees the light of the day,” the court said, adding, “Such a eco-fragile tourist resort is without master Plan is unacceptable. We are not going to tolerate this kind of practice by the authorities as six years have lapsed and our concern is finalization of Master Plan.”

The Court recorded in the order that it is shocking state of affairs that such an important issue has not been given full attention for completing the process as also local areas were not defined since from 2012. 

Last year, the government stated that the draft master plan was placed before the cabinet and was decided that the same will be examined by a group of ministers on infrastructural development.

Earlier, on December 21 2016, the Chief Executive Officer of the Gulmarg Development Authority stated that the final presentation of the Master Plan was made before the Chief Minister on June 1 2017 and that its approval by the Cabinet was awaited.

The court has time and again said that a duty is cast on all the functionaries of the State responsible and entrusted with the assignment of maintaining the glory and beauty of the world famous tourist resort, Gulmarg, to maintain its standard in all its forms.

The court was hearing the PIL filed in 2012, seeking directions for protection of fragile environment of Gulmarg.



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