Srinagar: Three hotels located in a high-security zone in Srinagar have come under the scrutiny. CNN-IBN has accessed the documents that show a gross violation of green norms. The hotels are hazard not just for the environment but for VVIPs like Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who live in the area.
The documents with CNN-IBN reveal that the caretaker Lakes Authority had approved the construction despite caveats by both the urban forestry division and Srinagar Town Planning.
Chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Irfan Yasin said, "We did form a multi-disciplinary committee because we wanted to be sure whether it will be stable and what parameters will be conformed to. I will have to get in touch with officials to find out the latest."
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Asghar Samoon said, "We have the master plan and green belt. The Law must be respected by everyone whether he is rich or poor."
Although union cabinet minister Farooq Abdullah protested against the construction in 2008 and 2009, the owners insist that norms were followed.
While the owners say they have cleared all construction and environmental hitches, the documents with CNN-IBN suggest there are gross violations of eco and green belt norms.
With officials passing the buck, the concrete construction in Srinagar's eco-fragile zone once again shows our apathy towards the environment.