High Court halts all constructions at Gulmarg

The High Court on Monday halted all constructional activities in ski resort of Gulmarg.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking to preserve environs of Gulmarg, the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar directed the Building Operations Controlling Authority (BOCA) of Gulmarg and Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) to grant permission for constructional activity only after seeing to it that necessary documents have been furnished by the applicants.

These documents which, the court said, should precede the permissions include sanction of the building plan or permission accompanied by the site plan, proof of ownership and title of the land, complete and detailed plan of the existing structures including measurements, permission granted for construction, video evidence of any portion of existing structures, video evidence and photographs of damaged partition sought to be repaired.

With regard to the private properties, the Court ordered that the permissions granted by BOCA of Gulmarg or General Administration Department (GAD) shall be halted forthwith.

The Court directed the owners of such properties to submit documents to BOCA or GDA within 10 days. After submission of the documents, the Court said the authorities within 15 days after verification shall allow repairs of the structures to continue.

Meanwhile, the Court appointed Abdul Rashid, a retired District and Sessions judge and advocate Nissar Ahmad Bhat as Commissioners and asked them to conduct inspection of 17 structures attested as illegal in her report to the court by the Registrar Judicial.

The Registrar Judicial had conducted an inspection of various sites in Gulmarg and filed the report. Illegal constructions and illegal leases of land are the main challenges confronting Gulmarg Ski resort.

In February this year, the Court had come down heavily on the Government for its laxity in acting against those holding land illegally at Gulmarg.

The court had warned of a stringent action in case the authorities failed to comply with its direction.