G’bal residents decry misuse of agricultural land

GANDERBAL: Locals in the district Ganderbal are anguished over the apathetic attitude of the government over the unabated illegal constructions on agricultural land and encroachment on government land as some top officials in the local administration are allegedly hand-in-glove with the land mafia.

The most affected areas where constructions of all manner including shopping complexes are going on unchecked are the ones along the Sringar-Leh Highway near Kurhama, Barsoo, Serch, Nunar, Beehama and Duderhama. Encroachments have shrunk many roads resulting in traffic snarls for hours on some of the most important routes of the district.

Agricultural land used for non-agricultural purposes such as constructions of houses, shops or for any other commercial purposes is a punishable offence with strict court orders to act against those involved in this clandestine activity.   

“The local administration despite being in full knowledge of the activity has preferred to sleep over the matter,” said a local. “The land mafia has bribed some top officials who have turned a deaf ear to their pleas.”

They alleged the District Development Commissioner (DDC), Ganderbal, Mr. Showkat Aijaz, despite many assurances to different public delegations seems uninterested in taking any action in this regard. “On one hand the government says constructions on agriculture are completely banned, but on the other, such activities are going on everywhere,” said another local, Fayaz Ahmad.

When this reporter attempted to contact the DDC Ganderbal, he surprisingly instructed to file a written complaint however on the next query the officer hung up and didn’t respond further.

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