Pahalgam observes shutdown against ban on repair work
Locals Seek Revision Of Master Plan
Pahalgam, May 24: A complete shutdown was observed in this tourist resort of South Kashmir on Thursday against the ban imposed on repair of residential houses, commercial establishments and hotels in the area. The residents demanded immediate revision of Pahalgam Master Plan.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed while movement of traffic was also thin.
Local residents urged the Government to lift the ban on repair of residential houses. "We have suffered extensive damage due to harsh winter and recent windstorm. So we make a passionate appeal to the Government to lift the ban," said a group of locals.
The residents said: “Though we are in favor of the ban on construction of hotels and huts in the fragile environment of Pahalgam, the government should not follow the same yardstick when it comes to repair and renovation of residential houses."
Many residents, who spoke to Greater Kashmir, said they "have to spend nights in open sky as the rooftops of our houses were completely damaged due to the recent windstorm."
"There are many joint families living in small mud houses with barely two or three rooms. The irony is that they can’t find space to live in their own backyard while the non-local hoteliers have raised huge concrete structures amid dense forests and on the banks of Lidder," the locals alleged. "A family of Laripora village has 22 members living in two rooms. In such a case, the ban on renovations is unjustified."
The residents also demanded revision of Pahalgam Master Plan and sought its extension to vicinities of Pahalgam like Langanbal, Batakote, Yannar and Ganeshapora.
Meanwhile, local hoteliers have also appealed the government to consider lifting ban on repair and renovation of hotels.
“ We are completely in favor of protecting the ecology of Pahalgam and don’t want further extension of our hotels. But the tourist season is on and tourists are reluctant to turn to our hotels because the rooms and bathrooms need to be repaired. So, the government should lift the ban on repair work," said President of Hotel Association, Pahalgam, Javaid Ahmad Burza.
Pertinently, the government imposed ban on the construction in this tourist resort following the court directions. The court expressed concern over the unabated construction of hotels and huts in the green environs of the word famous tourist resort following a Public Interest Litigation ( PIL) filed by locals. The five member committee was later formed by the government on the recommendations of court to submit report on the illegal structures and drafting of new Master plan in Pahalgam.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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