Don't allow any further construction in Gulmarg: HC to govt

The maiden DDC elections to 280 constituencies spread over 20 districts - 10 each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions - were held in November-December last year. Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

J&K High Court has directed the government that no further construction should be allowed at ski resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking preservation of Gulmarg, a division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul also directed the Chairman of J&K’s Pollution Control Board to ensure that all the hotels at Gulmarg have proper sewerage and drainage facilities. The Chief Conservator of Forests, the court said, shall ensure that no tree is cut down in Gulmarg.

The directions came after the court observed that the Public Interest Litigation was filed way back in 2012 seeking restoration of pristine glory of world-renowned tourist resort and a slew of directions were passed by the court in this regard.

“It was in consequence of directions of this Court that a High- Level 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”, court said.

The court observed that on examination of directions passed from time to time as also status reports filed by the government it had become necessary to pass further directions.

The court also noticed that valuable time of Registrar Judicial of this Court was spent for spot verification of the constructions, violations and deviations which, it said, affected the working in the High Court. “Without going to further details, we modify the Order, appointing Registrar Judicial of this Court, as Court Commissioner, by providing that henceforth as and when a need arises for any spot inspection or services of Court Commissioner vis-à-vis subject matter of PIL on hand, the Commissioner will be appointed according to requirement and nature of inspection to be made,” the division bench said.