SRINAGAR The J&K High Court has directed government to place within six weeks on record its stand with regard to the recovery of the possession of the property where leases and licenses have expired in Gulmarg, the worlds famous tourist destination in north Kashmir.
A Division Bench of the High Court Comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar passed the orders after perusal of a report submitted by the State with regard to the lease of property in Gulmarg in which it has been submitted that the matter was considered by the Committee in meeting dated April 3, 2019 under the chairmanship of Advisor the Governor which is now pending with the Law Department.
The court directed the matter be finally considered and the decision taken and same be placed before the Court within six weeks.
No person can be permitted to utilize the property with the intention of furthering of private interest of any person or authority. It has to be ensured that the maximum benefit results to the public as a result thereof, the court had said.
During one of the previous proceedings, the courts attention was drawn to SRO-580 wherein the maximum period for which a lease could be granted was 40 years.
Obviously, no extension beyond this period is permissible, the court said and directed the official respondents to place on affidavit also their stand with regard to the recovery of the possession of the property where leases/licenses have expired.
We shall also be informed in the affidavit about the manner in which such public property shall be dealt with. If the same is to be allowed to a private person, the procedure which would be followed for the same.
On the expiry of lease/license, the erstwhile lessee/licensee acquires the status of an unauthorized occupant within the meaning of Section 2(g) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1988, the court had underlined.
The respondents shall inform this Court with regard to the amount which the lessee/licensee were required to pay towards the grant of leases and the status of the payments by the lessees. This may be added in two additional columns to the tabulation which has been filed by the respondents, the court had added.
Meanwhile, CEO GDA assured the court that urgent steps with regard to installation of Dustbins, as directed by Court, are underway and he submitted the report in this regard shall be placed before the court on next date of hearing.
During the course of hearing, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the entire route from Srinagar to Gulmarg, which is frequently visited by the tourists all over the world, deserves to be kept clean.
Upon this, the court directed CEO GDA to inform that Municipal Committee Magam, Kunzer and Tanmarg that they would be concerned with the maintenance and cleanliness of the route from Srinagar to Gulmarg.
The court also directed to Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir to submit a report in this regard and also inform it about the steps taken for disposal of plastic waster and garbage collection.