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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