In violation of court orders, influential hotelier carries on construction at Gulmarag

Srinagar, June 17, 2021 (PPI-OT):In sheer violation of orders of high court in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) regarding ban on constructions at Gulmarag and Tangmarag tourist resorts, an influential business group is continuing with a complete constructional revamp and facelift in the rear wing of the property. According to Kashmir Media Service, Jammu and Kashmir High Court on 20 May 2021 upheld its ban on constructions at Gulmarag and Tangmarag tourist resorts, which included the reconstruction and renovation also.

However, in a brazen violation of the court orders, Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa at Gulmarg has blatantly violated norms under the smokescreen of renovation and return of forest land to the government. “The whole Gulmarag knows that construction is going on at Khyber resorts. You can’t say that the authorities are not aware of it,” Tariq Ahmad, a local shopkeeper commented while talking to media. “The authorities are deliberately ignoring the construction to favor the big-business house.”

There are four check posts on the road from Tangmarg to Gulmarag. The question that arises is how do the hoteliers manage to ferry the building material to Gulmarag? At every check-post, guards from Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA), Police, and forest department are posted to check the smuggling of construction material or timber round the clock. “Just even for painting the properties, the GDA seizes the hotels. How it allows such a construction in the case of Khyber remains a mystery to me,” another local resident said while talking to local media.

The directions of the court in this regard from a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, clearly read: “The earlier directions of the court stopping of construction activities at Gulmarg/Tangmarg shall remain in operation and if any person is found violating the same and continues with the construction activities his/her property shall be sealed forthwith and that no building or construction material shall be transported in the area.”

However, in sheer violation of the court orders, a carriage-auto bearing number JK04G-0748 was seized by the local police in Gulmarag the other day, media reported. The vehicle was carrying building material including cement and iron and was apparently on its way to Khyber resort. Pertinently, an FIR NO: 12-2021 has been filed into the incident at Gulmarag Police Station. But the Gulmarag Development authorities have failed to take cognizance of the matter and stop the ongoing construction at the hotel.

Consequently, when media contacted Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Dr. Bupinder Kumar, the officer feigned ignorance in the matter. Since the high-court judgment states that the property which is found violating should be sealed, it remains to be seen whether the same action would follow in the case of Hotel Khyber, given the high profile of the property and its owners.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736

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