What steps have been taken to complete Sonamarg Master Plan 2025-40: High Court asks authorities

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has sought to know from the authorities about the steps taken for the completion of the master plan for Sonmarg for  2025-40.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a bench Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice M A Chowdhary asked the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sonamarg Development Authority and Chief Town Planner, Kashmir to inform it about the steps taken for the completion of the master plan 2025-40 for the central Kashmir meadow.

 The Court also asked the authorities to ensure all the constructions strictly as per the present Master Plan.

The directions came after the court’s  perusal of an affidavit filed by the CEO which stated that the construction activity in Sonamarg Development Area was presently being regulated by the Master Plan of Sonamarg for the year 2005 to 2025 and that the new Master Plan for the year 2025 to 2040 is under process with the Chief Town Planner, Kashmir.

“We would like to know the progress made in this regard. Let the Chief Executive Officer, Sonamarg, as also the Chief Town Planner, Kashmir, file separate affidavits indicating the steps taken by them to finalize the Master Plan 2025 to 2040,” the court said.

The Court however made it clear  that “till the new Master Plan is finalized and published, all construction activities in the Sonamarg Development Area shall be strictly as per the Master Plan in vogue i.e., Master Plan of Sonamarg 2005 to 2025.”

It also said that no construction be raised in the Sonamarg Development Area or any repairs to the existing buildings carried out unless the building permission was granted by the BOCA, Sonamarg and is approved by the High Court.

“The Chief Executive Officer shall also submit the latest status report about all the construction activities presently going on within the Sonamarg Development Area and the permissions therefore, if any granted, by the BOCA, Sonamarg,” the court said and listed  the PIL for further hearing on March 7.

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