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news details
DB seeks details of encroachers of State land at Gulmarg
9/28/2020 10:55:13 PM

EARLY TIMES REPORT

JAMMU, Sept 28: Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), directed Forest and the Revenue Departments to place details of the total State Land and the Forest Land respectively in the Gulmarg area; the details of the land which is in possession of the Forest Department and the State Land which is in actual possession of the State and the details of the extent and particulars of the persons who have encroached the land.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Division Bench observed that it was informed by M A Chashoo, AAG, that in compliance of the order dated 10.08.2020, the Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority has filed the report giving details of leases on 28.08.2020.
DB further observed that as back as on 24th of August, 2020 in paragraphs 1 and 2 of our order we have noted the status report dated 11.08.2020 filed by Shoukat Ahmad Kuthoo, Divisional Forest Officer, Tangmarg, giving details of encroachments by certain hoteliers. No action appears to have been taken.
It was informed by M A Chashoo, AAG, that in terms of paragraph 8 of our order dated 24th of August, 2020, the Chief Secretary has formed a Committee for resolving the dispute between the Forest and Revenue authorities under the Chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
DB directed the action taken report be brought before us before the next date of hearing.
During the course of hearing Adv Hakim Suhail, counsel for the applicant has drawn our attention to the contradiction in the reports of the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, and the Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority. It is pointed out by him that in the report of the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla that there are 18 structures which have no lease at all.
DB directed these reports be placed before the newly constituted Committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir who shall ensure that the matter is verified on the physical inspection and true position is placed before this Court before the next date of hearing.
DB further directed Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority, to proceed to take action in accordance with law against all those persons who have violated the building permission which required the structures to be made of wood whereas concrete structures have been raised.
A reply dated 25th of August, 2020 has been filed by the Divisional Forest Officer, Special Forest Division Tangmarg (Forest Department) in purported compliance of our order dated 24.08.2020 referring wherein we had noted that the respondents refer to encroachments of various forest land without giving any details of the same. Some of these encroachments are by major hoteliers in the Gulmarg area. It appears that valuable forest land has been encroached and the encroachments are being permitted to be perpetuated with impunity. This is a serious matter which needs to be looked into.
Upon this Division Bench directed Forest and the Revenue Departments to place details of the total State Land and the Forest Land respectively in the Gulmarg area; the details of the land which is in possession of the Forest Department and the State Land which is in actual possession of the State and the details of the extent and particulars of the persons encroaching on the land within two weeks. JNF
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