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It's official: Master Plan violations, land grab on rise in Srinagar
SMC spills the beans in letter to police
12/4/2015 11:57:04 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Dec 4: The administration in Srinagar has officially admitted rise in Master Plan violations and Government land grab.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner Showkat Ahmed Zargar has said that there has been a "considerable increase in illegal constructions in Srinagar City." The revelation comes in a letter, which the SMC Commissioner has sent to the Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar seeking police protection to undertake demolition drive, which has not been undertaken for the last around eight months.
"The matter regarding providing of police assistance has assumed significance in view of considerable increase in illegal constructions in Srinagar city. It has become difficult for the Corporation to effect demolitions of these commercial structures that have mostly come up under the garb of reconstructions/repair of residential houses following floods of 2014," reads the letter, vide number SMC/PS/COM/4071-76, written by SMC Commissioner to the police. The SMC Commissioner has also admitted that the Government land is being grabbed for constructions.
Sources said the series of news reports carried by the Early Times, highlighting the mess of illegal constructions, has prompted the SMC to plead its failure of putting check on the illegal constructions in Srinagar.
Sources said three PDP Ministers who are allegedly patronizing the illegal construction of malls, advised the SMC officials to write a letter to the police seeking assistance in demolitions so that the attention of the Housing Minister could be diverted.
Insiders the group of Ministers want the issue of illegal constructions to be treated as law and order problem. "They (Ministers) are getting it conveyed to the builders to resort to stone pelting and anti-Government sloganeering whenever any demolition takes place so that the Housing Minister, who is actually fed of the poor performance of SMC, is requested to shun demolition in the interest of maintenance of peace," the insiders said.
The PDP Ministers, who have been allegedly instrumental in getting their choice of officers to the SMC, want to do it, only to plead their position before the party high command, who has smelt a rat in their conduct.
"By bringing in police role, the Ministers want the miscreants to take to streets so that the party high command can bee explained that it's better to allow illegal constructions for the maintenance of peace in otherwise restive Srinagar," explained an insider privy to the shady development.
"Otherwise why no such police protection was sought in the last eight of coalition regime and why no demolition was undertaken?" asked a civil society president adding "demolition drive is a routine work which ought to have been done in liaison with the concerned police stations."
As already reported by Early Times, the SMC is allowing large-scale illegal constructions in Srinagar while the enforcement squads allegedly charge Rs one million from the builders to undertake every floor of construction.
While the State High Court has sought sealing of as many as 47 buildings in Srinagar for not having constructed parking in basement, around 50 more such buildings are coming up.
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