Illegal construction of hotels continue in meadows of Sonamarg, authorities unmoved

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SRINAGAR,: In a violation of the prescribed norms and regulations, the unabated construction continues Sonamarg under the nose of the authorities who are unmoved.

Sources said that after Pahalgam and other place of the valley, it is Sonamarg which is the victim of unplanned and illegal constructions amid tall claims of government to safeguard “golden meadow” of Valley.

Reliable Sources confirmed PTK a huge area in Sonmarag which was declared ‘green’ under the Sonamarg Master Plan have been brazenly defiled by the unholy triangle of politicians, bureaucrats and businesses.

Sources further added that the insensitivity of the Government has led to the fragile ecology and environment has wreaked havoc on Sonamarg and its peripheries.

They said that only 14 structures (hotels) existed in Sonamarg before 2013 and now almost 47 new hotels with multiple blocks are coming up in the area that too in blatant violation of norms laid down in Master Plan.

Sources told PTK that there are influential people who are involved in this destruction of gold meadows. Official sources said that as per official records, big hoteliers who have their properties in Srinagar, and other places of the valley have now moved to Sonamarg to construct hotels adding that even they have managed permissions from the top authorities.

Meanwhile eyewitnesses said that the waste generated by tourists, visitors and hoteliers is thrown around in the meadows of Sonmarag without any treatment or scientific management.

However locals from the area told PTK that the Government is silent over the issue as the people involved in Vandalisation and construction are powerful. “These people are can do anything. We are not able to speak against them. These people are either part of the Government or are very close to the Ministers and top bureaucrats”, they laments.

When contact Shabir Raina Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sonamarg Development Authority told PTK that he has joined the office last year in September adding that since then no illegal construction has begun.

“There were illegal constructions before i joined here. This is up to government to see if these constructions are to be stopped or illegally constructed has to be removed.  If we receive an order to dismantle these illegal constructions, we are ready to dismantle”, he added.

He further added that whatever will be the decision of government they at ground level are bound to act upon the directions.

Pertinently after Gulmarg and Pahalgam, Sonamarg is the most popular tourist destination in J&K.   (PTK)

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