October 2017 News

Govt Admits Illegal Construction Going On Unabated In Kashmir

22 October 2017
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: Signifying the failure of law enforcing agencies, state government has admitted that 'encroachments and illegal constructions are going on unabated across Kashmir'. A meeting held under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir here recently revealed that the 'authorities have failed to check illegal constructions causing financial loss to the state exchequer,' said a senior official who was part of the meeting. The official's assertions are corroborated by the minutes of the meeting, which read: 'The illegal constructions are going on unabated in every nook and corner of the valley, more particularly in Srinagar district. 'On the one hand they (violators) are causing loss to the state exchequer by way of non-payment of requisite fee by the public towards the concerned departments and on the other it leads to unplanned constructions development,' the document reads. 'The constructions are also coming along 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 minutes read. A senior official who was part of the meeting stated that the ' Divisional Commissioner expressed unhappiness over the failure of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar Development Authority, ULB, LAWDA. PWD, and Irrigation and Flood Control Department to curb the illegal construction in their respective jurisdictions.' 'The representative of these departments were also directed to prepare a comprehensive plan for removal of encroachments and demolition of illegal constructions,' he said. The official said that district development commissioners have also been directed that 'no constructions' should come up along the highway in violation of Land Revenue Act and Ribbon Development Act. Interestingly, despite the directions from the court as well as from the government, the authorities have failed to keep check on violations of building plan which has resulted in 'haphazard development in the state.' It may be recalled that Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) recently decided to issue building permissions to commercial buildings in a phased manner to prevent illegal constructions and corruption.