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news details
‘Land mafia’ intensifies landfilling of waterbodies in Srinagar
Locals seek LG Murmu’s intervention
2/19/2020 9:06:39 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Feb 19: With no let up in conversion of waterbodies and wetlands into residential colonies, the “land mafia” has intensified such activities in the summer capital of Srinagar.
The sources said the “land mafia” is active in south Srinagar areas likes Hyderpora, Rawal Pora, Humhama and Narkara where huge chunks of paddy fields, wetlands and waterbodies are being filled with earth on war footing.
Sources said “some of the powerful names in the land mafia” were involved in such activities and that the Revenue officials in particular have failed to do their duties properly.
Sources alleged that some of the concerned Revenue officials were hand in glove in such illegal activities,
In the wake of 2014 floods, the experts have already cautioned that the land filling of low lying areas can make Srinagar more flood-prone.
While some of the environmental groups have formally picked the matter with the government, such groups said any respite is awaited.
A senior official said the land mafia “cannot be brought to book” unless the government constitutes a task force to curb the menace.
“Holding meetings alone cannot help as the Revenue officials have become infamous for remaining silent over illegal conversion of land for reasons best known to them. The government will have to constitute Task Force to get rid of the menace,” said the official.
Sources said the earth used for filling of the waterbodies was being transported from Budgam. “Hundreds of tippers ferrying land from there(Budgam) come to their areas and fill up the land in brazen violation of norms,” said an official, on the condition of anonimity.
Officials said the administration in Budgam will have to work in coordination with their counterparts in Srinagar, “if the government is really serious to check the menace.”
“No doubts the filling is taking place in Srinagar but the construction material is coming in from Budgam so it needs to be coordinated effort of the Revenue officials of both the districts,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.
A concerned official in the Revenue downplayed the matter saying the landfilling was being checked.
Meanwhile the locals have sought personal intervention of Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu.
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