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Commercialization of residential areas goes unchecked

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Srinagar, July 20: Posh residential areas are fast turning into breeding grounds for unauthorized conversion
of residential properties for commercial purposes.
Housing colonies in Jammu and Srinagar cities were developed for residential purposes and no commercial
building permissions were accorded in these colonies other than the area earmarked for commercial activity
by the concerned authorities.
However sources said that majority of these housing colonies has acquired the status of more of a
commercial hub having big shopping centres of every type including sale and service of motor vehicles.
Sources said that besides many illegal structures have also sprouted up, there have been many such
instances in the recent past, with both the Municipal Corporations turning a blind eye to them. “In place of
sprawling bungalows, dozens of fresh commercial spaces are seen rearing their heads in various parts of the
twin cities,” sources maintained
Sources said that though the residential areas of Gandhi Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Sainik colonies, Channi
Himmat and Trikuta Nagar in Jammu city have been constructed under planned colonies developed by
Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, J&K Sainik Cooperative Society, Jammu Development Authority (JDA),
but, the scores of owners have changed the land use of residential plots in violation to the existing building
norms.
Similarly sources said in Srinagar city’s Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh, Gogjibagh, Wazirbagh and Karan Nagar,
Bemina, Qamarwari, Shalteng which are well planned residential colonies are fast turning into commercial
areas in complete violation of Srinagar Master Plan guidelines. “The residents said that there have been
several instances when they have lodged complaints with the authorities against people, for renting out
their residences for commercial purposes, however, no action were taken by the authorities beyond issuing
a customary notice to such residents.
Moreover, it has also been seen that residential owners who have rented their residences for commercial
purposes have been paying property tax as per taxes applicable for residential property. This is considerably
less that the tax applicable for commercial property.
“As per the Master Plan of the Housing Colony, in every block and sector there is provision for minimarket.
However, few years back when authority of law and order had started gradually diminishing, the residential
colony started turning into hub of commercial activities,” sources maintained.
Sources said that in the earmarked residential zones, nursing homes, restaurants, insurance offices, banks,
and beauty salons etc. have come up with full immunity.
Many reports were prepared in past to identify all illegal commercial conversions in order to take action but
nothing has happened.
According to many people, MLA's and prominent influential people residing in these areas have played a key
role in growth of such commercial activities. :Enforcement wings exist in all agencies like Jammu Municipal
Corporation, Jammu Development Authority, Housing Board etc. but a kind of game goes on in between
these agencies wherein they keep shifting the blame from one to other,” sources maintained.

A senior official, on condition of anonymity, said: “Many issues are involved, including laxity on part of the
enforcement agencies. And then there is political interference. Though a number of notices are issued to
violators, people go to court and get a stay.”
Meanwhile in the absence of proper parking norms and designated parking areas, the busy markets and vital
roads of the twin cities remain chockablock, owing to haphazard parking of vehicles by roadsides. Motorists
also find themselves clueless while parking their vehicles. Much to pedestrians and motorists’ chagrin,
haphazard parking of vehicles by roadsides has virtually reduced the city roads to half.
The “inaction” and “nonchalant” attitude on part of the administration towards the traffic offenders has
further aggravated the situation.
“The High Court has banned the parking of vehicles in Raghunath Bazaar but the directive is being flouted
with impunity. Haphazard parking of vehicles has reduced the road to half, subjecting pedestrians and
motorists to great hardship. It is high time that the administration clamped down on the menace of illegal
parking,” said Razdan, a local resident.
“It is a trouble walking along city roads in the evening, as People Park their vehicles along the narrow roads
and by-lanes, causing confusion,” he remarked.
In the Srinagar city, motorists senselessly park their vehicles along roads, causing congestion. “The
authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to the growing congestion on the city roads. People park
vehicles wherever they find space but the administration is least bothered about checking the violations,”
said Owais Gul a senior Journalist working in Srinagar. (KNS)

 
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State

No one can stop AIP now: Rasheed

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Srinagar, May 23: Awami Itihaad Party (AIP) President and Party’s candidate for Baramulla Parliamentary constituency Er Rasheed has said that results are much encouraging for AIP and no one on earth can stop the party from becoming alternative to NC, PDP and other regional parties.

In a statement issued today, Rasheed said that the spirit of democracy needs to be respected and all those who have won the elections deserve congratulations. However, AIP has proved all political analysis wrong and has shown excellent performance by improving its performance beyond imagination. Those who used to accuse AIP of dividing votes should realize that party was not there to divide votes but to give a befitting fight despite all compulsions and the results have proved all those forces wrong who claimed to be lone warriors of Kashmiris.

Rasheed while thanking AIP cadres said that party is thankful to every single voter and party colleagues who voted and worked for an ideology and have laid a strong foundation stone for the future. AIP promises to follow its pro-people agenda with consistency and sincerity. One should not forget that AIP decided at the eleventh hour to contest the elections and without a proper cadre the party volunteers succeeded in sending a deep message to the masses that AIP has the potential to replace those who have given Kashmiris nothing except disappointments and false promises.

 

Rasheed reiterated his appeal to sincere political workers to join AIP and become part of a change which will not only ensure leadership that represents sentiments, sacrifices and aspiration of masses but will also give them best and corruption-free governance.

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State

Moulvi Yousuf Shah (RA) put in all-out efforts to highlight Kashmir issue globally: Mirwaiz

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Srinagar, May 23: The 52nd death anniversary of Mahajar-e-Millat Mirwaiz Moulvi Yousuf Shah (RA) was observed on both sides of the divide in Kashmir with full respect and honor.

Paying rich tributes to the martyrs of battle of Badr and to highlight the role and great contribution of Muhajir-e-Milat (RA) on social, moral, educational and religious and political front, Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Umar Farooq while addressing the gathering at the historic Aali Masjid at Eidgah here, shed light on the life and religious political contribution of late Mirwaiz.

While paying rich tributes to him for his commitment to the people’s political movement as a pioneer in creating awareness among them regarding their political rights for which he was exiled, Mirwaiz paid homage to the great leader for his great contribution in the spread of religious teachings and social justice among the people of the state. He said that Mujahir-e-Milat put in all-out efforts during his lifetime to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and to pitch for Kashmiri’s.

 

Mirwaiz said that the translation and commentary of holy Quran in Kashmiri language by the late Mirwaiz helped put Kashmir on the global Islamic map and earned him great respect in Islamic world.

Mirwaiz also paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the battle of Badr stating that the great companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) despite being less in number fought against the enemy to keep the Islamic flag high and that their priceless sacrifices will always be remembered till the day of judgment.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari, Moulana Showkat Hussain Keng, Moulana Khursheed Ahmed Qanoongo, and Moulana Syedur Rehman Shams. The speakers paid rich tributes to Mujahir-e-Milat and vowed to take his mission to its logical conclusion.

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State

Ganai interacts with KCCI delegation, others

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Srinagar, May 23: As part of the weekly outreach programme, Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai Thursday interacted with a number of delegations and individuals at J&K Governor’s Grievance Cell at Church Lane, Sonawar in Srinagar.

More than 22 delegations and scores of individuals from various parts of the Valley projected a number of issues on the occasion and sought their immediate redressal.

The delegations which met the Advisor during the day-long interaction include Amarnath Yatra Baltal Traders, delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry, College Contractual Teachers, General line Teachers Forum and Academic Arrangement Teachers besides delegations from Umar Colony Lal Bazar, Nowgam Anantnag and Pahoo Pulwama among others.

 

The Advisor gave a patient hearing to the deputations and individuals and said that all the genuine issues put forth during the public hearing will be looked into.

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