Construction of high-rise buildings in Pahalgam

News organization ANI has recently reported a new controversy around construction of high rise buildings in Pahalgam. Classic case of pitting development against preservation of natural environments. A question which becomes out of ordinary in case of a hill resort like Pahalgam where natural environment is what all the play is about.
Here’s the news item:

Pahalgam (J-K), Dec 20 (ANI): Construction work of high-rise buildings is in full swing in Jammu and Kasmir’s Pahalgam region despite the authorities imposing a ban on such activities.

Sensing the adverse effects of the pristine area turning into a concrete jungle, the concerned authorities of Pahalgam had declared an embargo on any new constructions here.

However, despite the ban, the construction work hasn’t stopped and work is in progress at a good number of commercial and residential projects.

Upset at these trends, the locals apprehend that soon the natural beauty of Pahalgam will be eclipsed and it may be no different from other metropolitan cities.

‘The natural beauty is getting destroyed. The Pahalgam we are seeing today is completely different from the Pahalgam, which used to be 20 years ago. Today the region is becoming like any metropolitan city. We have no clue that who is behind all these construction activities. Such infrastructural changes might prove harmful for our coming generations,’ said Manzoor, a resident.

On their part, the officials claim that they are doing their best to stop the encroachments and illegal constructions in the region.

‘We will not allow any kind of dozers in Pahalgam whether they are contractors of government or of any private companies. We will not allow dozers till PDA (Pahalgam Development Authority) permits so that non stop operations can be avoided,’ said Abdul Wahid Tak, Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority.

Despite repeated recommendations by the departments of Tourism as well as Ecology and Environment for imposing a five-year moratorium on building activity in the commercial sector in Pahalgam, concrete structures continue to rise at a fast pace.