In HC, Govt admits land grab at Gulmarg

Violators in possession of land without allotment

In a startling revelation, the J&K government has admitted before the High Court that some persons are in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without proper allotment in the famed Ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir.    
The Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) in its status report has stated that notices have been issued to 31 persons for occupying more land than leased while eviction notices have gone to 11 persons to vacate the land in 21 days. 
While the division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice HasnainMassodi took on record the status report, it asked the counsel representing the GDA, MohsinQadri, to present the encroachments in a tabular form by the next hearing.
The report reveals that land has been occupied by some persons without any authority while others have stretched the original allotment to hundreds of kanals illegally. 
It divulges that the GDA has issued notice to six establishments or organizations “in possession of land with structures without any valid document.”
Interestingly, four of them have pleaded in their response that they are in possession of the land for four decades and the area stands developed by them on the strength of permission granted by then Town Area Committee. The GDA has however sent their cases for legal opinion to the Law department. 
Some persons who have occupied land in excess of leased area and against whom the GDA has issued notices include:
Umar Khaleel c/o Hotel NedusGulmarg possesses 101.4 kanals against 2 kanals and 3 marlas leased in his favour; Enar smith c/o Hotel Palace Platinum is in excess of 7 kanal 6 marlas; Ahmad Sofi c/o Hotel Hill Top Gulmarg 3 kanals 7 marlas; Qutub Din c/o Hotel Zehgeer 2 kanals 11 marlas; Bakshi Bashir Ahmad c/o 119 No. Hut, 0.9 marlas; GhulamQadir C/o Hotel ZumZumGulmarg 7 marlas; S TejBahadur Singh c/o Hotel Affarwat 10 marlas; SardarAmarjeet Singh 3 marlas; Muhammad Afzal Khanday c/o Hotel Alpine Ridge 19 marlas; Ajaz Ahmad Murtaza c/o Rose Wood Hut Gulmarg 16 marlas; Shabir Ahmad Malik c/o Khilan Hut Gulmarg 12 marlas; Ghulam Ahmad Khanday c/o Falak Hut Gulmarg 3 marlas; Ali Muhammad  Khanday c/o Hotel Florence Gulmarg 10 marlas; Dr M H Basu  c/o hotel OC Road Gulmarg 15 marlas; Ghulam Muhammad Qazi c/o Shanoo Lodge 1 kanal 3 marlas; Ali Shah c/o Hotel Vintage 1 marla; Haji Ahmad Shahdad and Sons c/o Hotel welcome Gulmarg 4 marlas; BenjiNedous c/o Hotel High lands 5 marlas; QaziNizam Ahmad c/o Hutson OC Road 2 kanals 1 marla; PrithviNath c/o PrithviNath Hut 14 marlas; Matoo Brothers c/o Hotel Khaleel Palace 12 marlas; Muhammad Abdullah c/o  Hotel Pine Spring 3 kanals, 1 marlas; Abdul Rashid c/o Hotel Shaw-In Gulmarg 1 kanal 14 marlas; Muhammad Ibrahim c/o Hotel Green Heights Gulmarg 1 kanal, 12 marlas; Imtiyaz Muhammad Yasin c/o Lupin Resort 7 marlas; Abdul Hamid Dar c/o Hotel Mama Gulmarg 1 kanal, 1 marla; GhulamMohidinKhanday c/o Pride Resort 17 marlas; Sham Kak c/o Serendipity Hut 4 marlas and Mansoor Ahmad c/o Falcon Hut 1 kanal 2 marlas.  
The GDA has also sent eviction notice to Agriculture Department.  It has issued notice to eight lease holders where term of the lease has expired and lessees have failed to raise any construction. Besides, notices have been issued to nine lease holders where term of lease is alive but the lessees have failed to raise any construction. 
None among the lease holders have responded to the notices and appropriate action will follow sooner, the GDA said.         
Meanwhile the bench directed Advocate General, M I Qadri to collect information regarding land-grabbing at other places and produce the same to the High Court.  
The court was assisted by Amicus Curie Ajez Ahmad Chesti.

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