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SMC officials under scanner for allowing illegal constructions in Srinagar

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Mar 18: Government has ordered an enquiry against the officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for allegedly allowing “illegal construction” in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar.

Deeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary to Government Housing and Urban Development Department has appointed Farooq Ahmad Rather, Director Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir to hold an enquiry into the allegations against several SMC officials for allowing violation and facilitate illegal constructions in Karanagar.

As per the order, the five accused SMC officials who facilitated the unlawful construction include Sofi Mohammad Akhbar, the then ward officer, Bilal Ahmad Baba, Junior building inspector, Hakim Aijaz Ali, the then Chief Enforcement officer, Khurshid Ahmad Mir, the than Enforcement officer and Nisar Ahmad Shah, the Additional Enforcement officer.

 

The enquiry officer has to submit the report within 30 days along with his recommendations.

Over the years illegal construction has been serious concern in the Kashmir valley to the state government.

Several allegations have come up that illegal constructions have been made in some areas of the Srinagar’s old city in connivance of the concerned officials.

In the past also, SMC officials has allegedly approved plan and facilitated illegal construction in the Karan nagar area.

An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said that thousands of illegal constructions have come up in Srinagar and Jammu districts over the years.

The state cabinet in 2017 approved a policy on illegal structures in twin capital cities of the state and for Katra town. In the policy, ceiling has been fixed for regularisation of such structures after imposing hefty penalty on the violators while as major violations of land use and building bye-laws will face demolition.

The government also formulated two separate committees headed by divisional commissioners of each region to decide on illegal constructions in Srinagar and Jammu. While for Katra, the Deputy Commissioner Reasi led committee was to decide on illegal constructions built before December 2016.

An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said that thousands of illegal constructions have come up in Srinagar and Jammu districts over the years.

The official said a high-level official committee constituted by the government in 2009 to report on master plan violations, had identified and compiled a comprehensive report of around 3000 illegal structures in the Srinagar city alone.

The official that the mandate of the committees was to decide on illegal constructions raised up over the years.

“The committees was to decide whether any illegal construction built before December 2016 could be regularised or not. The non-regularised constructions was to be demolished by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Jammu Municipal Corporation and district administration Reasi in Katra town,” he said.

As per the policy, only 50% of such violations will be regularized after obtaining penalty from the violators and by enforcing rectification wherever feasible. Violations beyond 50% was to be demolished through the enforcement wing of respective agencies.

Similarly, only 25% of the land use violations was to be regularized after charging hefty penalty from the violators while as remaining violations will be demolished.


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Kashmir

Yasin Malik’s detention: SHRC issues notice to CS, Home Sec, DGP

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Srinagar, April 24: State Human Rights commission on Wednesday issued to notice Chief Secretary J&K, Commissioner Secretary Home department and DGP police asking to submit the detailed compliance report regarding detention and shifting of Muhammad Yasin Malik to NIA custody.

According to the KNO correspondent the petitioner, Ahsan Untoo, had pleaded before the SHRC that Malik is a political worker and was detained under Public Safety Act and later handed over to National Investigation Agency, calling it ‘illegal’. The notice to government officials was issued by State Human Rights commission chairperson Rtd justice Bilal Nazki.

“The authorities illegally allowed the police authorities to change the custody which is otherwise illegal in nature and handed over custody to NIA,” Untoo had pleaded before the commission. It was reported health conditions got deteriorated with unknown reasons and the family members; friends were not allowed to interact or to get the health information of Malik.

 

Untoo in his petitions said that when Malik’s lawyer met him on April 20, at RML Hospital, he was not able to have a conversation with the lawyer as he was ruthlessly beaten by the NIA authorities, he was rushed to the RML hospital in a very critical condition and since then no one has been allowed to interact with Malik.

“It creates apprehensions in the mind of family members and the general public of the valley that he might have been assassinated by the authorities and in this regard no communication has been made by the concerned authorities regarding the same,” he said in his petition.

Untoo had also pleaded before SHRC that a team be constituted who will receive a firsthand information regarding the wellbeing of Malik, and he be brought before the media so as the apprehensions regarding the assassination of Malik are put to rest.(KNO)

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Kashmir

Vehicle carrying perishable food items be exempted from NH ban: Faesal

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Calling upon the government to at least , exempt vehicles carrying perishable items, vegetables, fruits, poultry and livestock from National Highway Traffic ban, President J&K Peoples Movement, Dr. Shah Faesal Wednesday said that the ban is harming small traders the most.

In a statement issued, Dr. Faesal said that restrictions on the movement of vehicles carrying perishable items has put traders to huge loss adding that administration seems to be in deep slumber to pay heed to the pleas of affected people.

“I got a call last night that a vehicle carrying livestock has been stuck on the highway for last two days. There is shortage of fodder and the animals are about to die due to hunger”, Shah Faesal added.

 

He said that not only human beings but even animals are also suffering due to the highway ban. He has forcibly demanded to revoke the draconian measure immediately.

He said ban on movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is totally undemocratic and anti-people which is causing huge inconvenience to all sections of the society including small and marginal traders.

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Kashmir

Rawalpora youth’s death: CCTV shows Umar falling down on a roadside: Police

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday said that questioning was on to ascertain the facts behind the mysterious death of a youth, Umar Bhat of Rawalpora’s Astanpora area.

Umar in his late 20s was found dead on Sunday after he left his home in the morning to attend a function at Tagore hall.

Station House Officer (SHO), Shergari Police station, Aftab Ahmad told The Kashmir Monitor that they were waiting for the postmortem report.

 

He said the CCTV footage available with the Police shows Umar falling on the road near Oxford school, Wanabal.

“It appears that he was under the influence of drugs, it is only an assumption. Only after postmortem report, we would be able to speak on the cause of death,” Aftab maintained.

He said they have recorded the statements of around 4-5 persons in connection with the case.

“His friends, including the one who accompanied him to Star Hospital (in Sanat Nagar), where he was initially brought for treatment, are being questioned,” he said.

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