Drama Amid Din: Mayor and Co. Keep Commissioner Out of SMC

JCP To File Rs 5Cr Defamation Case Against Mattu

SRINAGAR: The Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Junaid Azim Matto and over a dozen corporators Friday created ruckus in the Corporation lawns and stopped the Commissioner SMC Amir Athar Khan and Joint Commissioner (Planning) Ghulam Hassan Mir from entering the Corporation premises over the “so-called” allegations of corruption.

Tension has been prevailing in the SMC after Commissioner Khan, last week formed a Task Force of seven officials of the SMC headed by the JCP Mir to look into illegal constructions, deviations and conversion of residential buildings into commercial in Srinagar city. He also ordered their demolition and recovery of the money lost by such constructions from delinquent SMC officials.

The Task Force during the last few days demolished several illegal structures that were coming up during lockdown allegedly with the active connivance of some Municipal officials and Corporators. “The drive that was started on May 21 will continue till June 6 and it has irked the Mayor and Corporators,” SMC had said in a statement.

Officials in the SMC told Kashmir Observer that JCP cancelled several building permissions which were illegally issued during 2018 and 2019 including of influential people.

Levelling allegations of corruption against the Joint Commissioner Mattu and the corporators also locked the gate and held a sit in protest raising slogans ‘down with bureaucracy’.

The corporators alleged that the bureaucrats were creating hurdles in the development of the city. They demanded the removal of the Joint Commissioner and said that the Commissioner was causing impediments in their work.

Mattu accused JCP of adding to the miseries of people of Srinagar who come here for want of building permissions.

He said that 62 elected Corporators have submitted a resolution to the Government stating that the Joint Commissioner, Planning Ghulam Hassan Mir be relieved from his duties at SMC.

The Corporators said that the illegal constructions are resulting due to the incompetence of JCP because he does not understand that if he does not permit genuine constructions, the illegal ones will come to the fore. “We are here for the betterment of the people of Srinagar. He has been issuing permits to the blue-eyed people,” they accused.

The Mayor last week had written a letter to Commissioner SMC seeking removal of JCP Mir.

The official who spoke to Kashmir Observer on the conditions of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media, said that the Corporation had issued several building permissions but on ground residential buildings were converted into commercial buildings. He said that the proper procedure was not followed while the permissions were issued and the permissions were granted after political interference and pressures, therefore the same have been cancelled.

Pertinetntly, the official said that the Anti-corruption Bureau has booked some officials for issuing such building permissions.

Attempts to contact did not materialise. However media reports quoted him saying that he would file a defamation lawsuit worth Rs 5 crore against the Mayor for his character assassination.

The official quoted above said that the Mayor, during the protest, did character assassination of Mir.

Calling the Mayor “mentally sick” Mir said that Mattu is used to indulge in character assassination.

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