PIL on Gulmarg conservation: HC threatens action against delinquent officials

The High Court on Friday observed that it would initiate contempt action against those authorities who fail to implement its directions on preservation of ski resort Gulmarg.
PIL on Gulmarg conservation: HC threatens action against delinquent officials
File Photo

The High Court on Friday observed that it would initiate contempt action against those authorities who fail to implement its directions on preservation of ski resort Gulmarg. 

"We are making it clear at this stage that if the orders of this court are not complied with by the various authorities and officials, we would pass clear directions for contempt action," a division bench of Chief Justice Baddar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation on preservation of Gulmarg.

The bench also said it would order inefficiency and disobedience be recorded in the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of these officials so that their future career is hampered and jeopardized.  

The direction came, after the bench observed that its various directions were taken lightly by the officials. "Of course some of the officers have complied with the orders in letter and spirit and those who did not comply have to be punished".

The Court directed Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, Wildlife Warden Kashmir and two DFOs to remain present in the court on next date of hearing.

On the issue of finalization of the Master Plan for Gulmarg, the Court directed the government to file status report. This, the court said, after Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganai told it that the Master Plan proposal could not be placed before the cabinet as the ministers were busy with GST.

With regard to installation and functioning of STPs, the court asked State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to remain vigilant and take necessary follow up action.

The court asked the SPCB to continually monitor the water quality at six spots on a monthly basis and place the report of the same before it. "The chart for the month of June has been filed and the chart for coming months will continue to be filed," it added.

While the court was informed that the equipment for monitoring of air quality in Gulmarg would be installed within a month, it asked Advocate Tawhid Ahmad to file the report with regard to the pollution related to use of polythene bags, plastic bottles in Gulmarg on next date of hearing.

The court directed the subordinate courts falling within the jurisdiction of district court Baramulla not to pass any direction pertaining to the orders given by high court in the matter.

Underscoring that it is necessary to carry out demarcation of the forest land so that it is identified, the court said, "It appears that slackness on part of several agencies and result of which the forest areas falling within the Gulmarg area is not being demarcated". 

"Consequently we require the presence of DFO (Demarcation Forest Division Kashmir) and DFO Special Forest Division Tangmarg on next date of hearing," the court said.

The court also sought presence of Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir to apprise it about the issues pertaining to his department. 

It also sought status report indicating the safety measures and the recommendation made by the experts with regard to preventing any further accident at Cable Car operating between Gulmarg to Kongdoori and Kangdoori to Afarwat.

In this regard, the court said, full technical measures recommended by the experts be placed before it.

The MD Cable Car Corporation was present and assured the court that till posts are sanctioned, contractual arrangement will be made to ensure that medical facility and first aid is available at Gulmarg-Kangdori and Afarwat. The court has sought compliance in this regard by the next date of hearing.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com