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Preserve environs of Gulmarg hill resort: 2 judge panel to HC

A two judge panel has informed the High Court that environs of Gulmarg ski resort are fraught with dangers which call for immediate attention to preserve the hill resort.

In its report, the two member committee comprising of Registrar Judicial, Muhammad Yousuf Wani and Joint Ragistrar Farooq Ahmad Bhat said that unbridled entry of horses and ponies inside the Gulmarg is unwanted.

The report divulges that the valley of Gulmarg is famous all over the world not because of luxuriously decorated five star hotels, Gondola and horse riding but for its location amidst forests and meadows. “The huge open areas of forest land in and around Gulmarg valley are seen swiftly looking for plantation,” the panel said.

The human greed, the panel said, is day by day violating the nature and the common people are bearing the consequences given the ecological imbalance, harmful weather conditions and air and water pollution. “We need to rise to the occasion and take oath to preserve the nature,” it said.

Underscoring the extent of damage caused to the forests, the Panel observed, “The roar of the lord of forests- the lion has died down to a whimper and the great saints are not finding a wanting place in isolation for worship due to extinction of forests.” The panel said the forest trees, which have fallen due to natural calamities, were lying unattended which presents a shabby look and the “caretakers and protectors of the forests seem to be in slumber”.

The Committee has also witnessed some forest trees standing on the rear side of the hospital building in Gulmarg which, it said, can cause loss to life and property. “It is recommended that in the interest of justice the forest department may take a spot inspection to verify the fact and take necessary action under law,” the panel said.

The Judges committee had visited Gulmarg on 29 April and made inspections on the alleged violations as well as on spots for which applications had been moved before CEO GDA for renovations and repairs. Though the committee made certain recommendations with regard to certain pleas, in other cases it declined recommendations.

In its observation on the Public Interest Litigation, the court had observed that filing of litigation has an objective to redress the grievances of the general public and to advance the cause of the public and the execution lies in the hands of government agencies. “From 2017, directions were passed to the authorities for finalization of the master plan. We are now in the year 2018 but till date same has not been done,” the court had said, observing that the environment needed to be saved as species depend on each other for survival.

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