The Jammu and Kashmir government has informed the state high court that it will soon buy the latest machinery to dispose of solid non-bio-degradable waste generated in the Sonamarg Health Resort due to tourist traffic and Amarnath yatra. The government further informed the court that they were in the process of making comprehensive environment impact assessment report to make necessary changes in the master plan as per the standing instructions of the court.
In a recent hearing in a public interest litigation, the J&K High Court had directed the chief executive officer of Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) to get necessary permission from the government to install the latest machinery for the disposal of solid waste generated by yatris and tourists in this health resort. The court has expressed its sharp concern over the building of hotels and other huts by the government inside the meadow of Sonamarg and had asked the government to revisit its master plan about the permission process inside the meadow. The court also asked in the earlier hearing to relocate the proposed golf course which was going to come up inside the meadow of Sonamarg.
It is in place to mention that earlier the state government, including its Building Operation Controlling Authority (BOKA), had allowed dozens of hoteliers to build huge concrete structures within the meadow of Sonamarg. The hoteliers have not only violated the building permission norms but they have also added dozens of rooms in their hotels. The SDA tried to demolish these hotels, but could not do it due to the influence they wield. The court has banned vehicular traffic from Sonamarg meadow up to Thajiwas Glacier as hundreds of vehicles were allowed during summer to move to the base of the glacier which has led to a lot of damage to its fragile environment.