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Illegal building permissions in Srinagar: Will new Commissioner SMC act?
8/29/2018 11:16:50 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Aug 29: As previous Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been allegedly shielding the officials of SMC who were involved in giving illegal building permissions, all eyes are on the newly appointed Commissioner as to whether he shall act against the black sheep.
PIO of the SMC had been denying information on all building permissions granted by the Corporation even as then Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Khurshid Ganai had directed SMC to make all these permissions public right on the official website.
Two Advocates of J&K High Court namely Qazi Ayaz and Khud Asfandyar had filed a joint RTI application with PIO, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) under Right to Information Act on 09.03.2017 seeking information regarding commercial building permission granted from 2013 onwards till 9.3.2017 in Barbarshah, Nai Sarak, kaka Road, Munwar Abad, Habbakadal areas of Srinagar particularly permission granted in favour of Nana Khan (Hotel name Gulstar) & other hotels constructed in the said area.
The Commissioner SMC who is also the First Appellate Authority (FAA) disposed of the First Appeal directing the PIO to provide information to the appellant within the stipulated period but the PIO did not provide any information to lawyers .
The appellant lawyers alleged before the then Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Khurshid Ahmad Ganai that the Commissioner SMC was shielding the PIO and both the PIO and the FAA are in league & are protecting each other and also shielding other functionaries of the department who have granted permission illegally in favour of many people in violation of Municipal Rules.
The 2nd appeal came up for hearing before previous CIC Khurshid Ahmad Ganai on 16.01.2017, wherein the CIC observed, " The SMC must take substantive steps to implement Section-4 provisions and share as much information suo-moto as possible on line through its website and other methods of public outreach using the new media protocols. In this 2nd appeal, therefore, the SMC is directed to compile and prepare the list of permission cases of commercial buildings in the identified areas where permission has been granted by the SMC since 2013. In addition, the appellant may be allowed inspection of available records for the remaining/balance information, if any".
"Inspite of CIC's order SMC is least bothered to make the details of permissions granted public. We appeal new commissioner to act and initiate action against the officials who are shielding the accused officials " said Advocate Fayaz Ahmad Lawyer at JK High Court.
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