Unrest Triggers Illegal Constructions in Srinagar
Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil (Kashmir Images)
Srinagar: Taking advantage of the unrest here hundreds of illegal constructions are going on in the city with Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) failing to check the menace.
Highly placed sources in the Corporation told ‘Kashmir Images’ that from June onwards more than 350 illegal structures have come up in Srinagar city alone. From Parimpora to Lawaypora the constructions are going on in hassle-free manner, literally under the very nose of the civic body.
“Parimpora seems to be the glaring example of violations of the municipal norms. Here, in the garb of relocation of structures which came under the highway widening, scores of new structures, mostly shopping complexes have come up,” sources said.
As per sources, the said party approached SMC five months back seeking permission for “minor repairs” of the sweet shop, which it got.
“But instead of doing the minor repairs the concerned party not only illegally increased the size of the shop but also put in fabrications to cover the shop for which they are not entitled,” an officer said.
He alleged all this was made possible “only after paying money to some SMC officials”.
At residential colonies like Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bagh, Hyderpora, Humhama, Nowgam (By-Pass) also the illegal constructions are going on in full swing. Similar scenes can also be witnessed at Qamarwari Chowk, Soura, Buchpora, Illahi Bagh areas as well as elsewhere within the city.
Citing reasons for the spurt in illegal constructions this year, SMC officials say, “It is simple because of the BOCA, the SMC wing which is authorized to issue building permissions, and which is supposed to meet regularly under the chairmanship of Commissioner SMC, couldn’t meet.”
From June onwards, BOCA met only thrice when it should have met at least eight times, sources said, adding “during this unrest period, only up to 20 re-construction cases (residential permissions) were approved while the BOCA has completely banned commercial permissions. It is also a reason why people find no other way but to go for illegal constructions.”
President, Municipal Employees Union, Haji Bashir Ahmed told ‘Kashmir Images’ that “this summer the city witnessed highest number of illegal constructions. Very little residential permissions were approved by the BOCA this time and those who couldn’t seek the commercial permission resorted to illegal construction themselves.”
“But due to non–cooperation of police we are unable to demolish these illegal structures,” the Commissioner regretted, adding “whenever we try to demolish any illegal structure people at spot thrash our demolition squads.”