Furnish details of all unauthorised existing structures in Gulmarg: HC to govt

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered immediate sealing of constructions if found coming up in violation of its directions in ski resort of north Kashmir’s Gulmarg as well as in Tangmarg even as it sought details of all unauthorised existing buildings in the area.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul reiterated earlier court directions stopping the constructions and  said. “The earlier directions of the Court stopping of construction activities at Gulmarg and Tangmarg, shall remain in operation and if any person is found violating the same and continues with the construction activities his or her property shall be sealed forthwith and that no building or construction material shall be allowed to be transported in the area”.

The Court said It would be obligatory upon the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, SSP, Baramulla and the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) to ensure that no construction activities are carried out without leave of the Court.

The Court however pointed out that it did not intend to usurp or take over the functions of the GDA or the BOCA and left it open for the authorities to entertain applications for the repairs and constructions of the buildings in accordance with the Master Plan and the By-laws.

“But the sanction, if any, shall not be implemented without taking prior approval of the Court,” it said.

The Court asked AAG M A Chashoo appearing for the GDA, its  BOCA, Tourism Department and Sr AAG B A Dar representing Revenue and Forest Departments to file fresh affidavits of Chief Executive Officer GDA, Chairman BOCA, Director Tourism, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, and Chief Conservator of Forests.

In the affidavits these authorities have to clearly indicate the position of all existing buildings in the area, the details of the buildings and structures which are unauthorized, the legal action if any taken against them and all other ancillary details on the subject within a period of six weeks.

The court issued the directions after observing that sufficient material in the shape of the reports of the Commissioners and the Committees as well as of the Amicus Curiae was already on record and the matter could easily and finally be decided on the basis of such material.

Pointing out that it was confining the matter to the reliefs claimed in the writ petition and examining the matter afresh, the Bench said: “We do not deem it necessary for the time being to have the assistance of any amicus curiae or of any commissioner or the committee. Accordingly, any amicus curiae appointed earlier stands relieved of his office and so are the commissioner(s), if any appointed from time to time. The Committee(s), if any, shall also stand dissolved”.

The Court however made it clear that on filing of the affidavits as directed, if necessary, it may consider for the appointment of amicus curiae, commissioner or a committee afresh subsequently.

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