“Ensure no tree is cut”: HC bans constructions in Gulmarg

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday banned all types of construction in Gulmarg, the ecological fragile world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir.

Hearing a Public Interest Ligation, a bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul also banned cutting down of any tree in Gulmarg.

“This Public Interest Litigation has been filed way back in the year 2012. Petitioner, namely, Mohammad Rafiq Zargar, has sought restoration of prestige and pristine glory of world-renowned tourist resort, viz. Gulmarg,” the court observed.

This Court, the bench said, has passed slew of directions aiming at preserving glory of Gulmarg.

“It was in consequence of directions of this Court that a HighLevel Meeting, chaired by Chief Secretary, J&K, was held, in which threadbare discussion had taken place and various steps were taken for preserving glory of Gulmarg. It was also decided to take fresh process for formulation of Master Plan,” the court observed as per GNS.

A number of Committees were also constituted, including one to consider extension and renewal of leases in respect of live lease cases and expired lease cases.

A direction was also issued to CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority, to submit details regarding illegal constructions and violations.

“For about eight long years, this Court has been monitoring the instant PIL and ensuring that glory and prestige of Gulmarg remains preserved. However, on examination of directions passed from time to time as also status report(s) filed by respondents, it has become necessary to pass further directions,” the court said and ordered that no further construction shall be allowed to be raised on the land in Gulmarg.

“The Chairman, Pollution Control Board, shall ensure that all the hotels in Gulmarg have proper sewerage and drainage facilities,” the court said in another direction, adding, “The Chief Conservator of Forests shall ensure that no tree is cut down in Gulmarg.”

The bench was hearing the PIL filed in 2012 by one Mohammad Rafiq Zargar, seeking directions to for protection of fragile environment of Gulmarg. (GNS)

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