Despite anti-encroachment drive,Illegal structures continue to come up in Srinagar

Srinagar: Even though Lakes and waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) and Srinagar Municipal authority (SMC) has demolished dozens of illegal structures in Dalgate and other areas of Srinagar, scores of illegal structures are rampant at many places including Saida Kadal and inner areas of Dal Lake.

Local residents alleged that some people resort to stone pelting in a day to ensure that area remain disturbed and authorities are unable to visit area.

Locals informed KNS on Monday that trucks and load carriers ferry construction material for illegal constructions during night.

“The construction work starts every night at around 10 pm. These structures go unnoticed as authorities are unable to visit the area due to prevailing circumstances. Some people resort to stone pelting in a day to ensure that area remain disturbed and authorities are unable to visit area,” the local resident of Sadakadal said.

Just few days before LAWDA had launched a special demolition drive in Srinagar to prevent any such unlawful construction activity in restricted areas.

The authorities had said that some unscrupulous elements had been taking advantage of the prevailing scenario in the Valley and indulging in unlawful construction at some places. “We warn such elements to desist from the practice as any such attempt would attract punitive action under the law,” they had said.

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has also directed authorities to issue contempt notices against people who have started illegal construction in and around Dal Lake.

A KNS correspondent, who visited the many areas of Srinagar, saw illegal constructions and encroachments coming up at various places in and around Dal Lake, including Nigeen, Saidakadal, Kainkach, Lone Mohalla, Naveedar, Lamb Mohalla, Naisadak, Miskeen Bagh and its adjoining areas.

A little less than three-fourth of Dal Lake, located on the foot of the Zabarwan hills and bounded by the Shankaracharya hill ( Takhar Suliman) and and Hari Parbat, has already been lost during last few decades due to illegal construction and encroachments.

“When we protested and asked these people to stop encroaching Dal Lake they threatened us with dire consequences. They are well connected people, that is why they are constructing and encroaching Dal Lake,” a resident of sadakadal, who pleaded anonymity, said.

He said the construction material to these places is ferried in trucks during night. Similarly, reports of illegal constructions and encroachments are coming from various other places in and around Dal Lake.

The concerned citizens demand immediate demolition and strict action under law against these shameless people.

Meanwhile soruces said that Illegal constructions are also coming up in Brein, Nishat, Shalimar, Hazratbal, Dalgate and its adjacent areas.

“Encroachers are also constructing houses, shops and walls on the encroached land. Land filling of the lake is also going on at various places,” sources said.

The Deputy Chief Minister who is also the housing minister of the state told KNS that he has called upon the officers to act tough against the encroachers and implement the court directions in letter and spirit with regard to the encroachments around the Dal Lake and other places. (KNS)

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