PIL regarding Development of Mantalai-Sudh Mahadev for Tourism

DB grants last opportunity to file detailed affidavit

04/10/2018

JAMMU, OCT 03:In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Adv Sumit Nayyar seeking respondents to develop/improve the tourist infrastructural facilities for the Mantalai-SudhMahadev including temples which attracts a large number of tourists every year both in summer and winter season and to take effective measures as expeditiously as possible.
A Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sanjay Gupta after hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi and petitioner in person appearing for the PIL, granted last and final opportunity of one week to file detailed affidavit as per earlier direction.
As per earlier direction, Division Bench indicating therein that as to whether the plans for all the three projects have already been approved and if they were already approved and the amount is available, then why all the three works could not be executed simultaneously. DB further observed that status report dated 25.07.2018 has been filed pursuant to the directions dated 22.05.2018. In the status report only a general statement is made with regard to the utilization of the funds, which had been sanctioned for the integrated development of the tourist spots of Mantalai, Sudhmahadev & Patnitop. An amount of Rs. 97.82 crores appears to have been sanctioned by the Government of India in this regard on 29.09.2016. As per the status report, only an amount of Rs. 19.56 crores has been spent as on July, 2018 in regard to the said projects.
DB further observed that in regard to the project of Mantalai, it is stated that the NIT has been issued and the work is in progress, which is to be completed by the year 2021. During the course of hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi submitted that the work in progress reflected in the status report is only with regard to the Yoga and Wellness Centre. It is stated that Yoga and Wellness Centre are only one out of eighteen works for which an amount had been sanctioned in favour of the authorities. In regard to the tourist spots at Patnitop, it appears that no progress has been made even when an amount of Rs. 9.02 crores had been sanctioned. According to the status report, the work appears to be stalled on account of some objections raised by the Forest Department.
On a perusal of the status report as also the reply filed by the respondents, DB found that the same does not give details as to what steps have been taken by the authority in regard to other projects for Mantalai and Sudhmahadev and directed to file a detailed affidavit by the respondents, indicating therein that as to whether the plans for all the three projects have already been approved and if they were already approved and the amount is available, then why all the three works could not be executed simultaneously.
In regard to the developmental projects at Patnitop, DB ask the authority shall also specify the present status and the steps taken by the authority to get the requisite approval/no objection from the Forest Department.
With regard to the proper utilization of the existing infrastructure of Dhirendra Brahamchari, a stand has been taken by the official respondents in paragraph No. 11 of the objections that the same would be renovated/ upgraded, with a view to beneficially integrate the said building, to be used along with the planned infrastructure sought to be created in terms of the plans sanctioned and being executed herein above.
DB directed Tourism Department and the Planning Department shall file an affidavit as to what further action has been taken in regard to the stand taken by them in paragraph No. 11 of the objections of providing the requisite monetary support from the State Capex plan budget. JNF

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