Srinagar: Successive Jammu and Kashmir government’s have constructed several major government offices in the flood-prone areas of Kashmir—thus raising a question of logic behind the approval of the constructions.
Irrigation and Flood Control Department (I&FC) division Srinagar in an official communiqué has stated that it has declared Bemina area of Srinagar as flood-prone area and despite that many buildings in the area have been constructed in the area.
The government offices constructed in the flood-prone areas include, Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) complex, Hajj House, Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (JKBOSE), Technical Education, Composite Regional Centre and Pediatric Hospital Bemina.
According to the official documents, the areas which have been declared flood-prone in Srinagar includes Kursu Padshahibagh, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Gogjibagh, Solina, Alochibagh, Batamaloo, Qamarwari, Bemina, Karan Nagar, parts of Chattabal, Sonwar, Shivpora, Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street, parts of Poloview, Munwarabad, Baba Demb, Khanyar, Gaw Kadal and some parts of Kral Khud.
It is pertinent to mention that in 2014 deluge, several government departments have suffered huge damage to the official record and infrastructure.
Earlier in 2019, Right to Information (RTI) was filed in I&FC department in which the applicant had sought information of copies of NOC granted by the department pertaining to the construction of various buildings including SDA complex, Hajj House, JKBOSE, Technical Education, Composite Regional Centre, Pediatric Hospital Bemina.
The Public Information Officer (PIO) in a reply had said that the construction of such buildings does not pertain to the division Srinagar but to the Flood Spill Channel (FSC) division Narbal.
Meanwhile, the top officials of I&FC department Srinagar said, “I have to check as to whether the concerned department has sought NOC from the department.”
Asked about the status of buildings of several government offices, the official said, “There are some areas which are flood-prone while some places are more vulnerable but that doesn’t necessary mean that in some flood-prone areas, construction is not permissible.” (KNO)
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