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Sonamarg Development Authority set to lose its office building!
7/11/2020 12:53:53 AM
Saahil Suhail

Early Times Report

Sonamarg, July 10: At this famed tourist spot, the Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) is all set to lose its office building to a private person, Early Times learnt on Friday.
According to official reports, the development authority has lost land case in the Supreme Court. “After establishing the development authority in 2003 a building was a constructed for housing the office Sonmarg Development Authority here at Sonamarg. Off late, an individual started claiming that the office building was constructed on his property land. Now finally we lost the case in Hon’ble Supreme Court,” an official at SDA told Early Times.
Chief Executive Officer Sonamarg Development Authority Mushtaq Ahmad Rather however confirmed the development. “Yes it fact,” he told the Early Times.
Established in 2003, the Sonamarg Development Authority has only eleven (11) regular employees including the Chief Executive Officer. However the authority has an army of casual laborers. “We have around 60 causal laborers who have been tasked to keep vigil around the picturesque tourist spot and control illegal constructions,” officials said.
Most of the time, the office of the Sonamarg Development Authority operates from the mini secretariat in Ganderbal even during those months when the tourist spot is opened for tourists.
“The non-availability of officials at Sonamarg Office also encourages violation of the High Court order,” an insider claimed.
Remember, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2017 stopped all the ongoing constructions at the tourist spot after the reports of “indiscriminate and unauthorized” constructions in Sonmarg had reached the court.
Those who were granted permissions for constructing hotels and guest houses at Sonamarg had brutally violated the BOCA permissions and constructed huge buildings in violations of the norms and the same was highlighted by Early Times in year 2016, however now most those violators have managed to complete the construction works.
The High Court also directed the CEO, SDA, to file the map of the Sonamarg area. It also asked the authorities to submit the Sonamarg master plan and “complete geographical details” about the area.
The court has also sought reports from the Regional Wildlife Warden and the DFO, Sindh, indicating forest as well as wildlife areas in Sonamarg, however the both the departments have failed to demarcate the areas.
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