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Pahalgam: Wildlife Department issues contradictory NOCs to help influential businessman
11/21/2022 10:47:08 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Nove 21: The wildlife department in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district has come under scanner after it issues two contradictory NOCs (No Objection Certificates) in favor of an influential businessman.
The businessman, officials say, intends to construct a 5-star hotel in ecology sensitive area near world Class Lidder Valley Golf Course.
According to official documents, copies of which are with this newspaper, the wildlife department declared the distance from the wildlife boundary line to the proposed construction site 1378.82 feet [Less than 1 Km]. The No Objection Certificate was issued on 22-03-2022 vide No. 354/WLO/PGM. The department also mentioned the GPS coordinates on the certificate.
The wildlife department however issued another No Objection Certificate (NOC) in favor of businessman after Supreme Court ordered creating of Eco-Sensitive Zones surrounding the protected forests including wildlife sanctuaries and National Park and declared that proposed construction site was 1.3KMS away from the boundary Line. This NOC was issued on 16-08-22 vide letter No. 804/WLWS.
The Supreme Court has directed authorities to declare the area, minimum 1KM distance from the boundary line of wildlife sanctuary, as Eco Sensitive Zone.
The wildlife department has submitted both the NOCs to Phalagam Development Authority which is the nodal agency for conveying BOCA meetings.
Officials say that in last the BOCA meeting, the issue was raised but later wildlife department was told to review the same and submit the actual distance from the boundary line to the proposed construction spot.
“Yes, department is trying to recheck, and actual distance will be submitted,” Wildlife official said.
A senior official claimed that wildlife department appears to be working under some pressure.
“A third-party inspection is required to determine whether the spot falls in Eco-Sensitive Zone or not as the spot where this businessman intends to construct hotel will also adversely impact Pahalgam Golf Course,” he added.
The officer said that they have conveyed their reservations to Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, who is also chairman of BOCA and has the final authority to grant permission for raising constructions at famed tourist spot Pahalgam.
Important to mention here, PDA and other departments are being accused are helping influential and creating hurdles for local population.
“Hundreds of poor people aren’t being given permission to construct houses under PMAY Scheme but influential people are helped out and they are being allowed to raise constructions even in wildlife area,” locals told ET and sought intervention of LG Manoj Sinha.
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