Jammu and Kashmir’s state administrative council (SAC) in its next meeting is likely take a call on the Gulmarg Master Plan prepared by town planning department.A senior official of housing and planning department informed that the Plan has been submitted to the government which will put it before the SAC for final approval.
He said earlier the government has been reprimanded by the High Court for its failure to prepare the Plan. “Last time the draft Master Plan was rejected by a group of ministers during PDP-BJP rule citing that it lacked vision and was not in sync with the requirements of the resort.”
The first Master Plan for Gulmarg was drafted in 1972 and it was implemented in 1975. In 2012, the High Court ordered formulation of a new Master Plan.
Chief town planner, Kashmir, Fayaz Ahmad Khan confirmed that they have submitted the Master Plan to the government. “An advisor to Governor has already written SAC note on it, and it would be deliberated during the next SAC meeting to be chaired by the Governor. Hopefully, it will be approved for implementation.”
“The Plan has been prepared keeping in view the eco-sensitive nature of the tourism resort,” he added.
The state government as per officials has been directed by the High Court to produce copy the Gulmarg Master Plan after it “is approved by the government before the court”.
Division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe on October 10 directed government to produce a copy of the Master Plan after the government approves it. The court had issued the direction while hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition on preservation of Gulmarg ski resort.
The Master Plan focuses on long-term development of Gulmarg: The areas of immediate concern include decongestion of the bowl, effective garbage disposal, regulation of pony trade, dog menace and coping up with infrastructure deficiencies. It stresses on creating an effective mechanism for sale of Gandola tickets to prevent unscrupulous elements from fleecing the tourists.