Hello Folks,

This is Arifa from Jammu. :)

I just stumbled on this community. It seems quite nice. I am not sure if there is anyone out there from my city Jammu.

I am basically looking to sell my old house in Gandhi Nagar, Jammu. It's an old house built in 2 Kanals. Not sure what the rates are. Property brokers in Jammu are real bad and unprofessional.

To makes things worse there is a huge stamp duty of 22% with the result that the cash transaction comprises nearly 85%+ value of the deal. I.E you get almost 85 lacs in black for a transaction of Rs. 1 Crore.

BTW, land in Jammu is measured in Kanals.
1 Kanal = 20 marlas or 605 square yards (Gaz in local languages and Urdu).
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  • Police yet to get land freed of encroachers

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, August 27
    Two days after a portion of prime land of the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) was encroached upon by a group of Sumo drivers, the authorities in Srinagar have failed to get it vacated.

    The SDA has lodged a complaint against the encroachers at the Kothi Bagh police station. The SDA in its complaint has alleged that the drivers broke into the SDA Divisional Store near the Sangarmal City Centre on the M A Road on Sunday to establish a taxi stand. The drivers have been accused of vandalising the SDA property before encroaching on the land.

    “A case has been registered against them and law will take its own course,” said SDA vice-chairman Mohammad Shafi Rather.

    “These people (Sumo drivers) had approached me twice for establishing the Sumo stand at the SDA land, but I told them that the High Court was hearing a PIL on traffic regulation and it was not possible for him to allot the land,” he added.

    Sources in the SDA said it was shocking that even after two days no action had been taken against them.

    “This encroachment is brazen and it has made mockery of all of us,” said another official of the SDA.

    The sources said the sumo drivers were enjoying the support of a ruling party which is ensuring that the government did not remove these encroachers from the area. Police sources said they had registered a case and written to the Srinagar Deputy Commissioner to demarcate the land of the SDA.

    “We are waiting for a report from the DC,” the police sources said.
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  • Over 30 kanals encroached upon in Samba industrial area

    Tribune News Service

    Samba, August 28
    Over 30 kanals (18,150 square yards), belonging to the State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO), have been encroached upon by some locals, including influential persons, in Samba.

    Despite the claims of the government that it had taken strict measures against land encroachers in the state, encroachers have moved towards the industrial area as well.

    Sources said locals of the adjoining area of the SIDCO complex, Samba, had encroached upon 15 to 20 plots of the industrial area. The owners of the plots were not allowed to start their ventures on the plots allotted to them by SIDCO.

    “Encroachment has taken place in a planned manner. Due to the criminal record and political influence of encroachers, no one dares to argue with them. Even SIDCO has failed to provide possession to the actual owners of the land,” a source said.

    “Several structures have been erected in an illegal manner, but neither the Revenue Department nor SIDCO dares to take action against them (encroachers),” the source said.

    Kishore Dutta, Senior Manager, Estate, SIDCO Industrial Growth Centre, Samba, said, “There were some cases of encroachment in phase-1. We have shifted the firms to phase-2 and requested the Revenue Department and the local police to provide us possession of the plots, as they belong to the industrial area.”

    There are two phases of the industrial area in Samba, in which there are 350 plots on 3,494 kanals. SIDCO has allotted all plots to various firms and now it is planning to start phase-3. More than 150 plots are still unused in both phases.

    “Firms have hundreds of excuses to hold their projects. Some owners get ill, somebody has raw material problem and many of the units have been locked by banks, revenue or excise departments,” said Dutta.
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  • 10 illegal structures along Sindh demolished, HC told

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, August 29
    Complying with the J&K High Court directions, the authorities concerned have demolished 10 structures which were built illegally on the banks of the Sindh river in Ganderbal district.

    This has been disclosed by the Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control, in his report to the high court, which in its orders today further reiterated that its earlier directions about the removal of illegal structures along the river should continue to remain in operation.

    Earlier last week, while granting the authorities concerned time, the court had asked them to file a report about the steps taken to remove encroachments and illegal constructions on the banks of the Sindh river by August 29.

    The court is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Qazi Rashid Shams, seeking removal of illegal structures on the banks of the Sindh in the district.

    As the matter came up before a bench comprising Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, advocate general MI Qadri representing the state government authorities submitted that the irrigation and flood control department had demolished 10 illegal structures on the river banks in the district. A “loud and clear message” had been sent that encroachmcg constructed in the area in violation of the court directions.

    However in his submission, petitioner’s counsel GA Lone said a cafeteria constructed by the tourism authorities still existed “within the course of the river”.

    The counsel representing the tourism authorities, however, denied that the cafeteria fell within the course of river. He said he had already filed an application before the court for the protection of the cafeteria.

    After hearing all the sides, the high court in its orders today directed the petitioner’s counsel to file a rejoinder within two weeks mentioning the structures which had come up in violation of the rules.

    In view of the submission made by the counsel representing the tourism authorities, the high court further directed for maintaining status quo with regard to the cafeteria in question till the next date of hearing fixed in September.

    Encroachments along river

    -In June 2011, the high court had directed the authorities to remove all encroachments and illegal structures along the Sindh that had come up in violation of the Kashmir Valley Embankment Act, 1992
    -The Sindh originates as a rivulet from Gumri Glacier ahead of Baltal, Sonamarg, in north-east Kashmir. Before merging with the Jhelum in Ganderbal, several fresh water streams, including the Amarnath nullah, Sonamarg nullah and Shutkuri nullah, join it giving it the shape of a big river
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  • Fate of J&K land conversion Bill hangs in the balance

    Lack of consensus among political parties
    Dinesh Manhotra
    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, August 30
    The fate of the Jammu and Kashmir Prohibition on Conversion of Agricultural Land for Non-Agricultural Purposes-2011 Bill still hangs in the balance due to the lack of consensus among political parties in the state.

    The Bill was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in the Budget session in 2011. As political parties differed on the draft of the Bill, the then Assembly Speaker, Mohammad Akbar Lone, had referred it to the Select Committee on April 1, 2011, for its final recommendations.

    More than two years have passed but nothing concrete has been done to make the Bill an Act.

    Minister of State for Revenue Aijaz Ahmed Khan, who heads the Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, told The Tribune that members of the committee had to give their recommendations. “After getting recommendations of the Joint Select Committee, the Bill will be again tabled in the Legislative Assembly,” he said and put the onus on the Committee for expediting the process of passing the Bill.

    Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir said the Revenue Department had to pilot the Bill to make it a law so as to ban the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. “We are making our effort to get the Bill passed,” the minister said.

    Kathua MLA Charanjeet Singh, who is a member of the Joint Select Committee, said it was a time-consuming process because new members of the Committee had sought more time to read the drafted Bill.

    In the last Budget session of the Assembly, the Bill was referred to the Joint Select Committee for deliberations. The first meeting of the Committee was held on August 29, in which new members asked the chairman to give them some time to read the Bill. “The new members will read the Bill and only after that deliberations will start again in the Joint Select Committee for final recommendations,” Singh said.

    The state government had tabled the Bill in the Legislative Assembly to arrest shrinking of agricultural land.

    Data available with the Revenue Department revealed that 1,51,352 hectares which were under cultivation in the state a few decades ago has now shrunk to 46,943 hectares.
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  • HUDCO to handle SDA's residential project

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, September 3
    The Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) today formally engaged Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) as the project consultant for its maiden Vertical Residential Colony proposed to be developed at Bemina at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore.

    This will be the first colony in Srinagar with integrated facilities pioneered on the initiative of Minister for Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies Nawang Rigzin Jora.

    “A formal agreement in this regard was signed by SDA vice-chairman Mohammad Shafi Rather and HUDCO regional chief Harjit Kumar here today,” a spokesperson for the SDA said.

    He said SDA director land management Rubina Kousar, financial advisor Zahoor Ahmad Rather, executive engineer Javaid Hassan Qadri, divisional town planner Bilquees Jeelani and other officers were present on the occasion.

    “Besides providing consultancy services, HUDCO will also be the financiers for the maiden project named Shehjar Apartments. Under the project, the SDA is planning to construct around 300 residential flats with integrated amenities spread over 100 kanals of land opposite Hajj House, Bemina,” the spokesman said.

    The SDA vice-chairman said besides constructing 1 BHK, 2 BHK, 3 BHK and 4 BHK residential flats, Vertical Housing Colony would also be provided with amenities such as free parking, parks, recreational/sports facilities, shopping complex, community hall etc.

    Rather said given the mounting demand for apartment-type housing and in view of the escalating land costs, the SDA had decided to take the lead in promoting the concept of vertical housing in Srinagar so that minimum land resources were utilised for residential purposes.

    “As project consultants, HUDCO will be responsible for the architecture/designing of the buildings, site development, structural design, electrical network, sanitation, plumbing, drainage, water supply and sewerage design, energy management/communication system, fire detection, fire protection and security systems for Shehjar Apartments,” Rather said.

    He said the foundation stone for the apartments would be laid soon and the work on the project would be started immediately.
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  • Environment panel discusses strategies to combat climate change

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, September 3
    The Environment Committee of the State Legislative Council has called for an enhanced inter-departmental interaction to develop a consensus on facing the challenges posed by climate change in the state.

    An official spokesman said the committee, which had a meeting here today, held threadbare discussions on the impact of climate change on forests, water resources, agriculture, wildlife etc and the initiatives being taken by the government in this regard.

    “The committee discussed adaptation and mitigation strategies for awareness and understanding of the common masses,” he said, adding that the status of chinar trees across the state was also discussed.

    It was informed that the committee would organise a seminar on climate change on September 14 at Dak Bunglow, Anantnag, to spread awareness among the common masses about its impact. Students, scholars, researchers, sarpanches, panches and other prominent citizens are expected to participate in the event.

    The meeting was chaired by MLC Syed Bashir Ahmed Veeri.
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  • Old dilapidated buildings a tragedy in waiting

    Tribune News Service


    Batote, September 7
    Even as regular tremors in the Chenab valley region have instilled a sense of fear among the inhabitants, no initiative is being taken by the state administration to take stock of the dilapidated structures in the area, putting the residents of these buildings at a great risk.

    With recurring tremors and long spell of rain in the area this monsoon, such buildings pose a great threat to many lives.

    “Every passerby watches these badly damaged old buildings, whose angle of inclination has been increasing day-by-day, but nobody is bothered about the threat they pose to their inmates and the general public,” said one of the residents.

    “Since none of the inhabitants complain, fearing the wrath of their owners, the concerned officials, the naib tehsildar, tehsildar, etc…, should take suo moto action,” he said.

    Alleging that no general surveys were conducted by the administration to take notice of such buildings across the state, former municipal committee chairman, Batote, Ravinder Singh said people have not learnt any lesson from the recent building collapse in Mumbai.

    “No lesson seems to have been learnt from the recent building collapse in Mumbai, where many precious lives were lost. I think nobody in J&K has ever thought of conducting any such survey in general,” Singh said.

    Following the earthquake in the erstwhile Doda district on May 2, which caused a huge loss to the property in the area, a survey of collapsed and damaged buildings was carried, but the exercise was primarily conducted to make an estimate of the losses and award compensation. Never a general survey of unsafe buildings in the area has been carried out, a source said.

    When asked about the state of affairs, Superintending Engineer, PWD(R&B) of the Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban belt, Subhash Gupta, rued the paucity of funds and manpower to carry out such surveys. “Given the acute paucity of staff, resources and money, such exercise in general is practically not possible,” Gupta said.

    “The PWD(R&B) department carries such exercises only when there is a request from a local body office, revenue or other offices,” he said.
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  • Seven more illegal structures identified along Sindh banks

    HC directs authorities to file status report about their removal

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, September 21
    Taking on record an affidavit by the Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), in which he has identified seven more illegal structures, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed him to file a status report about the removal of illegal constructions along the Sindh in central Ganderbal district. These directions were issued by a Division Bench of the high court this week, which were made available today.

    “Seven more structures have been identified, which have been found erected in violation of Section 83 of the Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act, 2010, along the banks of the Sindh. The Chief Engineer submitted this in his compliance report, adding that show-cause notices have already been served upon the violators on September 9, wherein they have been given 15 days to file replies.”

    Earlier, in the compliance report in August, it had been said that the authorities concerned had demolished 10 structures illegally built along the banks of the Sindh in Ganderbal district.

    When the Chief Engineer informed Bench that ‘on account the inability of the department to cope up with the work’, the department was in the offing to outsource a survey for the determination of flood basin of the Sindh nullah. The high court asked the Advocate General why couldn’t the revenue authorities “pulled up” for not cooperating with the I&FC department.

    The I&FC department, as pointed out in the compliance report, had requested the revenue authorities to provide the material for determining the area of the river and its flood basin. After hearing the arguments, the Bench, in its orders, directed the Chief Engineer to file a status report about the removal of the illegal constructions along the Sindh.

    Timeline

    -The Sindh, which is a rivulet, originates from Gumri Glacier ahead of Baltal, Sonamarg, in north-east Kashmir. Before merging with the Jhelum in Ganderbal, several fresh water streams join it downstream, including the Amarnath, Sonamarg and Shutkuri nullahs, giving it a shape of a big river.
    -In June 2011, the high court had directed the authorities to remove all illegal encroachments and structures along the Sindh that had come up in violation of the Kashmir Valley Embankment Act, 1992.
    -In his earlier status report, the Chief Engineer, I&FC, had submitted no definite limits for restricting any construction on the banks of the water bodies as defined in the J&K Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act, 2010. Besides, no directions were given by the high court in this regard, as had been issued by the high court in respect of the Dal Lake and the Lidder river.
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  • Parking woes of city residents deepen

    Chaos prevails outside malls, multiplexes and eateries as they invest little to create parking space
    Sumit Hakhoo
    Tribune News service


    Jammu, September 28
    Even as an array of multiplexes and big showrooms have came up in Jammu city in the past two decades, majority of them have invested little in creating parking space for vehicles.

    Many of them have encroached upon the roads to meet parking needs, thus creating a chaos-like situation in every nook and corner of the city. In absence of any long-term planning, the Jammu Development and Authority (JDA) and the Municipal Corporation have failed to create any additional parking space.

    About 5 lakh vehicles ply on Jammu roads and there is a serious crunch parking space here. Be it the government agencies or the shopping complexes and malls, little or no attention has been given to the problem so far.

    There are nine parking lots under the JDA with a capacity to accommodate 1,200 cars and 500 two-wheelers, while the JMC has lent roadsides to to contractors to be used as parking spaces in about a dozen places.

    It is an arduous task for the pedestrians to walk in Jain Bazar, Panjtirthi, Parade Shalamar, Purani Mandi, Raghunath Bazar, BC Road, High Court Road and Canal Road of the old city. Honking of horns and screeching vehicles are a common sight here.

    “Just look at the chaos outside the cinema halls and super malls in the city. People fight for space to park their vehicles. The situation is even worse outside many prominent eateries. At many places, taxi operators have created their own unauthorised parking spaces,” said Sudeep Choudhary, a businessman.

    Jammu Development Authority (JDA), created about 40 years ago for maintaining the urban infrastructure, has so far created parking space for just 1,700 vehicles in the city. Other ambitious projects, including multi-parking buildings, are delayed as the agency has failed to identify land for the purpose.

    Recently, with the management of rising number of vehicles becoming a nightmare for the administration in the rapidly growing urban centers of Jammu and Kashmir, the government had decided to formulate a comprehensive City Transport Policy for scientific management of the vehicles.

    Traffic congestion in the city is emerging as the biggest problem as over 50,000 vehicles are being added every year to the already overcrowded roads of the city.

    Vice-chairman, JDA, KL Khajuria said there had been some problems in the past but parking places have been given a priority under a new master plan.

    “All the private organisations establishing big malls and shopping outlets now have to construct their own parking space. We are waiting for the funds to establish multi-parking buildings,” Khajuria said. Sources, however, said plans for creation of multi-parking structures at the city bus stand and Shalimar Chowk among others are struck at the survey level for the past five years. No headway has been made to make them functional despite several official statements from ministers holding the charge of Urban Development.

    PRESENT SCENARIO

    There are nine parking lots under the Jammu Development Authority with a capacity to accommodate 1,200 cars and 500 two-wheelers
    The Jammu Municipal Corporation has lent roadsides to contractors to be used as parking spaces in about a dozen places
    About 5 lakh vehicles ply on Jammu roads and over 50,000 vehicles are being added every year

    WORSENING SITUATION

    Majority of the multiplexes and big showrooms have encroached upon the roads to meet parking needs, thus creating chaos
    It becomes difficult for the pedestrians to walk in Jain Bazar, Panjtirthi, Parade Shalamar, Purani Mandi, Raghunath Bazar, BC Road, High Court Road and Canal Road of the old city
    In absence of any long-term planning, the JDA and the MC have failed to create any additional parking space
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  • Traders protest sealing of business units

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, October 2
    Several traders’ bodies staged a protest here today against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) orders to seal 42 illegal structures in the summer capital. “We want justice.

    If our business establishments are sealed, we along with our families will suffer,” said Jawahar Nagar Traders Association spokesman Irshad Ahmad Khan, who along with others staged a protest at the Press Enclave area.

    He said the SMC had issued notices telling them to vacate their business establishments so that the same were sealed. He said the SMC had issued notices following the recent Jammu and Kashmir High Court order directing the government to seal all the illegal structures in Srinagar city. The SMC had informed the court that it had issued demolition orders and show-cause notices to 42 violators for sealing the structures raised in violation of the norms. “Due to pressure from the influential, the big fishes have been let off and only ordinary businessmen are being targeted,” Khan said.

    Karannagar Traders Association spokesman Farooq Ahmad said they would suffer huge financial losses in case their shops were sealed. “We have taken bank loans and invested a lot in our business. The decision to seal our units will hit us hard. Our units are registered with various government departments and we also pay the required taxes,” he said.

    The government counsel had earlier sought further time from the court while submitting that sealing/demolition of the structures would require appropriate security measures. The counsel had also submitted that sealing may also create law and order problems. The court went ahead with its orders that were passed on September 30.
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  • Unscientific mining poses threat to quake-prone areas in Doda

    TNS

    Jammu, October 3
    The brisk unscientific mining of gypsum has been posing a grave threat to the ecology of the earthquake-prone belt of the erstwhile Doda district as blasting in mine sites has been going on unabated.

    It is widely believed that the continued blasting for extraction of gypsum is the main reason of soil erosion on the stretch between Assar and Khelani on the Batote-Kishtwar national highway, which has the Baglihar hydroelectric project on the Chenab river, just 50 metres away from the fault line.

    “On the one hand, this belt has been repeatedly witnessing tremors after the devastating earthquake of May 1, 2013, while on the other hand the authorities have failed to stop the blasting for extraction of gypsum,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, sarpanch of Assar.

    He said due to the blasting some houses had developed cracks but the authorities were not taking serious note of the degradation of ecology in the belt.

    He pointed out that construction of the Baglihar hydropower project had already imbalanced the ecology of the region and brisk extraction of gypsum posed further threat.

    Local residents have reasons to air their concern over the ecological degradation because the belt, which is now part of Ramban district, has been witnessing soil erosion throughout the year due to the weakening of rocks. Khurshid Ahmed, sarpanch of Kuthiyar panchayat, also admitted that some houses had developed cracks. “There is need to maintain the ecological balance at any cost in the belt,” he said.

    The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in its latest report, had also pointed out the violation of environmental laws while extracting gypsum in the belt. “The provision of the Water (Prevention and Pollution Control) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Pollution Control) Act 1986, Environment Act 1986 and Public Liability Insurance Act 1991, envisage enforcement of various conditions while extracting gypsum from mining sites,” the CAG report stated, adding that “the physical verification of the mining sites by the audit revealed that the enforcement of conditions like raising of the green belt by planting native species around leased areas, dump sites, metal topping of major approach and haul roads, stacking of top soil in earmarked areas of dump sites by lessees had not been ensured by the department.”

    The report pointed out that around gypsum mines in Assar in the erstwhile Doda district and Bijhama in Baramulla, no plantations were raised by the authorities, thereby violating the provision of these Acts. Furthermore, major approach and hauls roads to the sites of mines had not been metalled.

    A senior officer of JK Minerals Limited put the onus on the Director General Mines Safety (DGMS) for maintaining the ecology of the mine sites. “Teams from the DGMS regularly visit mine sites to ensure the safety and ecological balance of the areas,” he said.

    ECOLOGY ENDANGERED

    -The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in its latest report, pointed out the violation of environmental laws while extracting gypsum in the belt
    -The physical verification of the mining sites by the audit revealed that the enforcement of conditions like raising of the green belt by planting native species around leased areas, dump sites and metal topping of major approach and haul roads, had not been ensured by the department concerned
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  • Sewerage laying project to continue till Dec 2014

    Lack of coordination between govt departments delays the work
    Sumit Hakhoo
    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, October 5
    Lack of coordination between government departments continues to delay the completion of sewerage pipe laying project in Jammu city. With digging mainly carried out in uncharted roads and lanes, the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) is facing hurdles and takes days to shift water pipes and telecommunication lines.

    A new deadline - December 2014 - has been set by the officials. Sources said the ERA is facing lots of obstacles in completing the last leg of work to link different lines with each other and other areas as unexpected utilities of PHE, PDD, BSNL and non-cooperative attitude of the traffic department is slowing down the work at several places.

    Right from the start, the state has not done its homework properly as the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) and ERA were not allowed to undertake a separate study before the work was started, leading to the problems.

    A senior officer said when the work was started in 2007, the executing agency had communicated to the government that they need to audit the DPR before taking up the issue, but the state had insisted that since considerable time had elapsed since the sanction taken from the Centre, work should be expedited as per the project report prepared by the state.

    As per data, while 86 per cent of the trunk sewers have been completed in the city, only 50 per cent of the lateral sewers connecting different localities with the main line have been completed.

    Chief Engineer, ERA, Alok Mengi, said, “We are facing problems. There are hurdles coming in the way like old and discarded water pipes, to delay in shifting of power utilities. At times, the traffic police restricts us and does not allow diversion of traffic, keeping in view the huge number of vehicles.”

    However, Mengi said the first phase of the work will be completed by December end this year.

    “There are three phases - One will be completed in December this year and the other two will be thrown open by the end of 2014. We have completed 95 per cent work of STP but till the sewerage line laying work is completed, it cannot be integrated with the main line,” said Mengi.

    The project was taken up under a centrally sponsored project in 2006 under the Prime Minster Reconstruction Programme (PMRP). The plan envisages setting up of 27 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant for Jammu region and 60 MLD STP at Srinagar.
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  • J&K fast losing forest cover to infra projects

    TNS

    Srinagar, October 7
    Various infrastructure projects are eating into the forest cover of the ecologically fragile Jammu and Kashmir. This was revealed by the Department of Forests, Environment and Ecology.

    As per the forest department data, 875.6647- hectare forest land has been used for road construction under the Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).

    The state government told the Legislative Council that various remedial measures are being undertaken to boost the green cover.

    "Afforestation drives have been launched in various areas. In order to protect new plants, effective fencing and other soil conservation measures have been adopted," said an official report.

    The state Forest Department has further directed the executing agency of PMGSY in the state to construct retaining walls and take necessary steps to prevent soil erosion.
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  • Locals fume over no-construction zone around Poonch Fort

    TNS


    Poonch, October 16
    Residents and traders putting up around the Poonch Fort are up in arms against the Poonch Development Authority’s (PDA) recent order declaring a 100 metre area from the fort as a “no construction zone” and have threatened to launch an agitation if the order was not revoked.

    The Authority has issued notices to shopkeepers and residents putting up within 100 metres of the fort to stop construction, as the land has been identified as no construction zone under the National Monument Act.

    Poonch Chamber of Commerce president Sunil Gupta said, “Residents and shopkeepers have been in possession of the land for over 65 years. The authority’s decision will hit livelihoods and is ridiculous. The government should immediately revoke the order.”

    “Poonch is a backward district and most people residing around the fort have either their own property or have purchased it. Now that they have spent lakhs on building their houses and business establishments, such an order has created insecurity about their future” he said.

    Ashok Kumar, a resident of the area, said, “We will not allow anybody to snatch our houses in the name of protecting the Poonch Fort. If the government has not evacuated land or stopped construction around Golden Temple in Amritsar or Mubarak Mandi in Jammu, then what is the hurry in clearing land around Poonch Fort?”

    Ashok Bhagat, Chief Executive Officer of the Poonch Development Authority, said, “We have identified and demarcated 21 kanal land of Poonch Fort. Now we will build a compound wall or fence around it so it cannot be encroached upon in future. About the 100 metre no construction zone, the land is protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.”

    “Under this Act, the 100 metre area has been declared a protected area and named ‘No construction Zone’. New construction is not allowed in this zone, but repair or renovation can be done with permission from the PDA,” Bhagat said.

    Members of various political parties and social and business organisations have also threatened to launch an agitation against the state government if it fails to revoke the order.

    HERITAGE PANGS

    -Under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, a 100 metre area around the Poonch Fort has been declared a protected area and “no construction zone”
    -New construction is not allowed in the zone, but repair or renovation can be done with permission from the Poonch Development Authority
    -Residents and shopkeepers say they have been in possession of the land for over 65 years
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  • 83 commercial units sealed in Pahalgam

    TNS


    Anantnag, October 20
    The Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) yesterday sealed 83 commercial establishments, including hotels and eateries, after they failed to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).

    “We have sealed these hotels, guest houses and restaurants in cognisance with the High Court orders issued on October 8,” said Reyaz Ahmad, PDA chief executive officer.

    He said the hotels had failed to comply with the court orders of getting an NOC from the SPCB.

    They would have to get an order from the court to resume their commercial operations.

    “The sealed establishments include category A, B, C and D based on the number of rooms and pollution norms,” said the CEO.
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