Srinagar Tops Illegal Constructions List In Kashmir

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Illegal colony comes up at land filled Khushal Sar: Residents

SRINAGAR — Despite state gov­ernment having admitted that in violation of the land revenue act, illegal constructions were going on “unabated” in Kashmir especially in Srinagar district, nothing has been done to stop such construc­tions or taking any action against erring officials.

Official sources told Srinagar based news agency that the govern­ment in October last year admitted that “illegal constructions” are go­ing “unabated” across Kashmir.

In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Divisional Com­missioner Kashmir, it was re­vealed that illegal constructions were going across the valley with­out seeking permission from the competent authorities.

“The participants expressed serious concern over illegal con­structions and directions were is­sued to start a demolition drive,” a senior official, who was part of the meeting, said. As per the docu­ments of the minutes of the meet­ing, the illegal constructions were going unabated in every “nook and corner” of the valley, more particularly in Srinagar district.

One such area where construc­tions are taking place allegedly in connivance with the Municipality officials is the Khushal Sar where land-filling has completely fin­ished the water body paving way for an illegal colony to come up. “Just a few years back we would take boats to all the way to the An­char Lake and today it is all land,” said Firoze Ahmad Sofi of Zooni­mar. “By the fall of night, hun­dreds of trucks would unload earth and fill the water body right under the nose of Municipality officials. All this could happen only when the officials have been involved in the clandestine activity.”

The constructions are also coming along the national high­way in violation of the Land Rev­enue Act, by converting the agri­cultural land into commercial/ residential purposes, and Ribbon Development Act as the required distance on either side of the NH is not theft,” the documents read.

The official said that Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar Development Authority, ULB, LAWDA. PWD, and Irrigation and Flood Control Department were directed to prepare a “com­prehensive plan” for removal of encroachments and demolition of illegal constructions.

The official said that district development commissioners were also directed that “no construc­tions” should come up along the NH in violation of Land Revenue Act and Ribbon Development Act. However, nothing has been done.

“The departments did not pay any heed to directives to carry out demolition drive on illegal construc­tions across the valley,” he said.

“No action has been taken against officials responsible for allowing illegal constructions over the years,” he added.

The state cabinet in April last year also approved a policy on ille­gal structures in twin capital cities of the state and for Katra town. In the policy, ceiling has been fixed for regularisation of such structures after imposing hefty penalty on the violators while as major violations of land use and building bye-laws will face demolition. (KNS)

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