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RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

Last updated: May 18 2017
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  • #61

    #61

    Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

    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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    • #62

      #62

      Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

      Srinagar master plan violations

      HC not satisfied with details given by municipal corporation
      Ishfaq Tantry
      Tribune News Service

      Srinagar, November 12
      The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today observed its displeasure over the statement of movable and immovable properties of various officers and officials of the corporation furnished by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner. The High Court directed the officials of the enforcement wing of the SMC to give an undertaking by the next hearing that they would not move any of their properties till further orders.

      It also expressed dissatisfaction over the stand taken by the government with regard to the violations noted in the Srinagar Master Plan and directed it to spell out its interim policy decision by the next hearing, fixed for November 21.

      The directions were issued by a division bench comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magray while hearing a public interest litigation seeking action against illegal constructions and structures falling within the limits of Srinagar city.

      The court, in its orders passed on November 11, sought the personal appearance of SMC Commissioner GN Qasba before the court on November 12 along with details of movable and immovable properties of officers and officials of the corporation.

      Though the SMC Commissioner was present in the court along with the details of movable and immovable properties of some of the corporation employees, the bench was not satisfied with the details furnished.

      “The list you have provided is just like filling the gaps. It does not show the actual things on the ground. It does not reveal anything about the enforcement officials/officers of the corporation,” Justice Attar observed.

      He further observed that all violations of the master plan, which had been noted over the years, had occurred because of the connivance of the SMC officials responsible for the enforcement.

      Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri submitted that while taking a policy decision with regard to the master plan violations, the government was also taking all the ground realities into account.

      He said the matter would be referred to experts and a new Srinagar Master Plan was being formulated. After the expert opinion and after the new master plan is formulated, a decision would be taken while taking all ground realities into account, he submitted.

      On this, the court observed that it would be a time-consuming process and instead wanted the government to take a policy decision over the violations in the interim.

      “Our heels are dug in the present. That is a matter related to the future. The court wants government’s policy on the matter,” Justice Attar observed.

      After hearing all sides, the bench directed enforcement wing officials of the SMC, including Chief Khilafwarzi (enforcement) official, Khilafwarzi officer, ward officers and building inspectors, to give an undertaking by the next date of hearing that they would not move any of their properties till further orders.

      The court also directed the government to give its stand with regard to the violations.

      What the pil says


      In the PIL titled, ‘Mujeeb Andrabi versus State’, the petitioners had prayed to the High Court to take a “strong note” of the constructions made without the permission of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and in violation of the master plan in Srinagar city. It also pressed on to pass directions to the authorities concerned for demolishing such structures in the interests of the public.

      Taking a serious note of the violations of the Srinagar Master Plan, the High Court had directed the state government on October 31 to identify and take action against officials responsible for facilitating violations.
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      • #63

        #63

        Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

        Army may soon vacate prime land in Srinagar

        State government to look for an alternative site for Army
        Majid Jahangir
        Tribune News Service

        Srinagar, November 13
        The state government is hopeful that nearly 1,000 kanals of prime land at the Tatoo Ground here would be vacated by the Army before the Durbar offices reopen in May next year.

        The state government has asked Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Shailendra Kumar to look for an alternative site for the Army.

        In the past, the Army had been insisting on a site around Shariafabad on the outskirts of city in lieu of the Tatoo Ground. “But now the Army has agreed to shift from the Tatoo Ground even if the alternative land is provided elsewhere,” said Shailendra. “Hopefully, the Army will vacate the Tatoo Ground before the Durbar returns to Srinagar,” he added.

        Government sources said the major hurdle in shifting of the camp from the city was that the Army was demanding land around Shariafabad, which also houses the headquarters of the Kilo Force, the Army’s counter-insurgency force.

        The sources said the Army had agreed in 1988 to vacate the ground.

        “After they had agreed, the Army wanted an alternative site at Shariafabad and Hanjik in Budgam district. The government provided alternative land to Army at Shariafabad and they took possession of it but did not vacate the Tatoo Ground,” a source said.

        “The Army, however, has been saying that it is yet to get full possession of the Shariafabad land that was promised by the state,” the source said.

        The state government plans to construct a recreational facility at the Tatoo Ground.

        Tatoo Ground

        -In the past, the Army had been insisting on a site around Shariafabad in Budgam district in lieu of the 1,000 kanals at Tatoo Ground in Srinagar

        -Now, the Army has agreed to shift from the Tatoo Ground even if the alternative land is provided elsewhere

        -The state government plans to construct a recreational facility at the Tatoo Ground
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        • #64

          #64

          Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

          Over 2,000 units violate Jammu Master Plan

          ‘Political pressure’ stalls JMC's campaign against such buildings
          Sumit Hakhoo
          Tribune News Service

          Jammu, November 17
          Alleged political pressure has stalled the efforts of the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) to rein in illegal constructions and commercialisation of residential areas in Jammu city.

          Sources said though violators had approached the High Court that had stayed orders against a few properties but close proximity of businessman with political parties had forced the civic body to go slow against violations going on in the city.

          As per the survey conducted within municipal limits, there are more than 2,000 residential buildings illegally converted into commercial units in violation of the Master Plan and Jammu and Kashmir Control of Building Operation Act, 1988.

          Gandhi Nagar, Trikuta Nagar, Old City and Shastri Nagar areas are on top of the list where more than 700 violations have been detected. Similar cases could be found in other colonies developed by the Jammu Development Authority (JDA).

          About three years ago, a major drive was started by the Municipal Corporation in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar against the illegal conversion of residential buildings into commercial units, but not much progress was made.

          However, Municipal Commissioner Kiran Wattal said there was no pressure on the civic body and several people had been booked for breaking the rules. “In the past one month, about 16 violations have been detected and action taken. The process takes time but we will take necessary steps”.

          As per the law for converting any category of land or building into commercial unit, a proper permission has to be taken from the competent authority as defined in the revenue laws, but in the city, most of the people are violating the rules.

          However, a senior municipal official said no major step could be initiated as political leaders were interfering in major decisions.

          “Despite notices issued by the government, most of the people who are illegally using their residential properties for commercial purpose have not closed down their operations and continue to defy the directions of the administration,” he said.

          Sources said an internal probe conducted by the corporation about a year ago had also revealed open violation of the building norms despite strict directions for not allowing conversion of residential premises into commercial one.
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          • #65

            #65

            Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

            Srinagar Master Plan being violated with impunity

            Violators include city’s influential people, MLAs and former bureaucrats

            Ishfaq Tantry/Majid Jahangir
            Tribune News Service

            Srinagar, November 17
            The Municipal Corporation here might have sealed around 43 illegal structures, but the shopping malls, car plazas and other commercial establishments belonging to the big and mighty and built in violation of the provisions of the Srinagar Master Plan remain untouched.

            Taking a serious note of the brazen violations of the master plan, the High Court had recently directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to seal the structures against which demolition orders have been issued.

            Besides, the court had also sought a report from the government on the policy decision with regard to over 3,000 violations of the Srinagar Master Plan over the years.

            However, the investigations reveal that many of these illegal structures, owned by the influential and powerful people, still remain intact.

            The list includes Chief Minister’s close aides and his relatives, besides leaders of the opposition PDP and former bureaucrats.

            The Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), in the past, had issued notices to these influential people for violating the guidelines, particularly along the Srinagar-Baramulla Bypass road, but to no avail.

            The SDA had accused them of violating the Srinagar Master Plan that prohibits construction of any commercial complex along the stretch of the road.

            The violators not only include private business houses, but it also features Indian Railways, Tourist Reception Centre and JK Police Public School.

            According to SDA records, Indian Railways’ Nowgam station, the newly-built tourist reception centre at Nowgam and Police Public School at Bemina, which is run by the J&K Police, have come up in violation of the master plan.

            The records also suggest that norms were flouted to establish Ansari Toyota, Shuhul Motors, KC Hyundai, Chevrolet Motors, Peaks Automobiles and Town Square.

            Ansari Toyota, a multi-storied car show room is owned by senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and MLA Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, while the Shuhul Motors is owned by former National Conference corporator Bilal Ahmad Guroo.

            KC Hyundai is owned by Mohammad Aslam Khan, father-in-law of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister.

            Chevrolet Motors, on the other hand belongs to Ahsan Rather, son of a retired Development Commissioner.

            The owner of Peaks Automobile situated on Nowgam Bypass, Baldev Singh, had originally sought permission for construction of a farmhouse at the site. However, he converted it into a two-storey automobile showroom-cum-sales and service centre, in violation of the SDA norms.

            Town Square, owned by the wife of former Chief Secretary and MLC Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, runs without any designated parking space. As per the norms, it is mandatory for big shopping malls to have parking space.

            Violations Galore


            -Whereas many structures in Srinagar have been erected without valid building permissions or in violation of the original permission given by the SDA, many other offenders have flouted the SMC rules while constructing shopping malls or other commercial structures
            -In some instances, areas designated as residential complexes in the master plan have been converted into commercial places, like the posh Rajbagh, Karan Nagar, Barzulla and Jawar Nagar area of the city

            High Court directions


            -In a PIL, titled Mujeeb Andrabi versus State, the petitioner had appealed to the High Court to take note of the illegal constructions, built without the permission of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and in violation of the master plan in Srinagar city.
            The petition also appealed to the court to direct the authorities concerned to demolish such structures in the interests of the public.
            -Those arrested from Nanded are suspected to have been recruited by LeT’s Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia a few months agoThe court, meanwhile, has sought report from the government on the policy decision with regard to over 3,000 violations of the Srinagar Master Plan, which have been noted over the years
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            • #66

              #66

              Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

              Verify credentials of tenants or face legal action, residents told

              Tribune News Service

              Jammu, November 17
              If you are planning to rent out your building, it may land you in trouble if you don’t visit the police station concerned to get the credentials of your tenants verified before renting accommodation as the police is launching a campaign on verification of tenants following reports of terror threats.

              And those who contravene this process would be liable to face legal action in accordance with the provision of Section 188 of the RPC.

              According to a circular issued by District Magistrate Ajit Kumar Sahu, all tehsildars and police officers of the Jammu district have been directed to start the process of verification of the tenants living under their jurisdiction. The orders would remain in effect for two months.

              “Under Section 144, CrPC, no landlord, owner, person of any house or property, which falls under the jurisdiction of Jammu district, would let, sublet or rent out any accommodation without informing in writing the SHO concerned under whose jurisdiction the premises fall about the particulars of the tenants,” the circular stated.

              The orders have into force with effect from November 11 and would remain in force for a period of 60 days unless withdrawn earlier.

              “Any person who contravenes this order shall be liable to be punished in accordance with the provision of the Section 188 of the RPC. As the notice cannot be served individually on all concerned, the order is passed ex-parte,” the circular said.

              Official sources, however, linked the issuance of the circular with the upcoming rally of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at MA Stadium on December 1.

              “The district administration doesn’t want to take any chance for Modi’s rally following the serial blasts in Patna that too minutes before his rally. There are reports that terrorists, in the guise of tenants, may seek hideouts and cause explosion as the venue of the rally, MA Stadium had witnessed such incidents in the past,” sources said.
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              • #67

                #67

                Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

                Jhelum encroachers face FIRs

                With irrigation department launching crackdown, encroachers cry for a rehab policy
                Bismah Malik
                Tribune News Service

                Srinagar, November 18
                The Department of Irrigation and Flood Control will act tough against the encroachers on the banks of Srinagar’s lifeline river, the Jhelum. As per a recent report furnished by the department, besides demolishing the illegal structures along the Jhelum, the department as per the report has already filed FIRs against the encroachers as per the J&K Water Resource Act.

                The report has also admitted that the bed level of the river at various stretches has lowered due to sand dredging from the river by the encroachers.

                However, the department admits that the real problem being faced due to vanishing of this major water body has been its decreasing tendency to accommodate discharge due to precipitation.

                For the encroachers, however, the problem lies with the rehabilitation, especially those who have built houses along the Jhelum tributaries and flood channels particularly those in Rakh-i- Aarat.

                “We have been living alongside the riverbanks for many years now. Our hutments are there since many years and we derive our living from fishing in the Jhelum. By vandalising our homes, we will be deprived of our livelihoods as well as houses. While the state government seems to be serious about rehabilitating the Dal dwellers who will be asked to vacate, for Jhelum dwellers no such policy exists,” said Ghulam Hassan, a resident alongside the Jhelum in Haba Kadal area of downtown Srinagar.

                The report says that the State Irrigation and Flood Control Department has also launched a Flood Management Programme to check the imminent threat of floods.

                In this regard, the state department has also submitted a comprehensive integrated Flood Management Project of the Jhelum costing Rs 2,200 crore to the Union Ministry of Water Resources, which is awaiting nod from the Central Government.

                However, the Central Government has approved an immediate intervention flood project at an estimated cost of Rs 98 crore to improve the flood spills and channels along tributaries.

                “The project ‘Flood Threat’ of the river which involves urgent work undertaken to restore its glory is under execution and completed to the extent of 75 per cent. The reservations raised by the Central Government regarding the comprehensive Integrated Flood Management Project would be replied by the state department so that a mega project is approved by the state government, to launch the much needed flood management on the Jhelum river and its tributaries,” the report said.

                Checking floods

                -The state department has submitted a comprehensive integrated Flood Management Project of the Jhelum costing Rs 2,200 crore to the Union Ministry of Water Resources, which is awaiting nod from the Central Government.
                -The Cente has approved an immediate intervention flood project at an estimated cost of Rs 98 crore to improve the flood spills and channels along tributaries.
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                • #68

                  #68

                  Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

                  Urban sprawl eats up agricultural land in Kashmir valley

                  TNS

                  Govt yet to put a brake on encroachments
                  Rifat Mohidin

                  Srinagar, November 18
                  With agricultural land falling prey to unchecked urbanisation and rampant commercialisation, the state government is helpless about putting a brake on the growing trend of land conversions. In 2011, the state government had established a committee, led by Minister for Housing, Horticulture, and Culture, to review the bill that would put a ban on the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, but till now, the committee is without any result.

                  According to the J&K Economic Survey report 2012-2013, 70 per cent of the population in J&K is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

                  The provisions of the J&K Land Revenue Act 1996 (1939 AD) prohibit the conversion of paddy or vegetable lands and floating fields into any other use.

                  To check violations, officials of the Revenue Department said they had been taking the required action. “If there is any violation, we are taking a necessary action and if anyone comes to us with a complaint, we do act,” said Farooq Ahmad Shah, Deputy Commissioner, Revenue Department, Srinagar.

                  While the state government has enough laws to counter the phenomenon, the unregulated and unplanned swallowing of agricultural land for commercial purposes continues unabated. In addition to the Revenue Department, various implementing and monitoring agencies, including the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), have failed to curb the illegal constructions taking place on the agricultural land.

                  In the outskirts of Srinagar city — once a boundless area of marshy land — a sprawling stretch of posh residential colonies, housing valley’s prominent and influential functionaries, have cropped up in recent years. Hyderpora, Bemina, Pirbagh, Sanatnagar, Rawalpora, Narbal, Zainakoot are some examples of the massive conversion scenario, the Valley has witnessed since early 2000s.

                  Mushtaq Ahmed, Director, Agriculture Department, said there were specific departments to check the land conversion. “The Agriculture Department is not the authority for it, we are only meant for agricultural production. We can only inform other departments,” he said.

                  The J&K economy has undergone a precarious shift from a steady agrarian economy in mid-decades of the 20th century to a consumerist service-based economy.

                  Still to act


                  -The state government has enough laws to counter the phenomenon, but the unregulated and unplanned swallowing of agricultural land for commercial purposes continues unabated.
                  -In addition to the Revenue Department, various implementing and monitoring agencies, including the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and the Srinagar Development Authority, have failed to curb the illegal constructions taking place on agricultural land.
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                  • #69

                    #69

                    Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

                    Govt’s orders to seal illegal buildings mere eyewash, alleges NGO

                    TNS

                    Srinagar, November 19
                    As the government has already identified 2,500 illegal structures to be sealed in various parts of the Valley, a non-government organization (NGO) working against the illegal land conversions alleges that the orders to identify illegal buildings were just an eyewash as some shopping malls are still illegally functioing in the city.

                    Hilal Ahmad War, head of the NGO, Human Watch International (HWI), said despite the crackdown on illegal shops operating in the city, many commercial complexes were still illegally functioning in the city. The government had sealed only a few of the commercial units in a drive.

                    “You see residential areas are being made commercial hubs and even the court orders are not being properly implemented. The drive was just an eyewash as there are many illegal buildings still functioning in the city,” War said

                    In October, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) sealed 19 out of 39 identified illegal structures in Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar and Karanagar only.

                    The Municipal Commissioner declined to comment on the number of structures have been sealed since the first SMC drive in October. “I cannot answer your question,” said SMC Commissioner GN Qasba.

                    The HWI has identified many colonies that were being constructed on the agricultural land in Pampore, Sonamarg and Narbal.

                    War said the NGO helped the government to stop their construction. These illegal constructions had an impact on the Master Plan of the city. “The government should come up with a good policy to systematically accommodate the increasing population,” he said. War has also filed a PIL to ascertain the violations of land laws in the Valley.
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                    • #70

                      #70

                      Re : RE News Jammu amp Kashmir

                      High Court stays construction of house by NC minister Ramzan

                      Petitioner accuses minister of encroaching on green strip
                      Ishfaq Tantry/TNS


                      Srinagar, November 19
                      The Jammu and Kashmir High Court, acting on a petition, has stayed the construction of a two-storeyed structure by National Conference leader and Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan and his kin in a posh residential enclave in Srinagar.

                      These orders were issued by a single bench of Justice Bansi Lal Bhat in a petition by one Dr GN Yatoo, wherein it has been alleged that the minister has violated the Srinagar Master Plan norms and guidelines in the posh Friends Colony. Yatoo is also a resident of the same colony.

                      The two-storeyed house is being constructed by the minister in the posh colony in Humhama on the airport road in Srinagar.

                      In the petition by Yatoo, it has been alleged that the minister has encroached upon a public lane and a green strip reserved for beautification of the colony near the plot allotted to him and his kin in the residential colony.

                      “He is raising the construction in clear violation of the sanctioned master plan on the plots after grabbing the public lane and green strip reserved for beautification of the colony which is detrimental to the rights and interests of the inhabitants of the colony, including the petitioner,” the high court observed in its orders passed on Monday, while issuing notices to the minister and 13 other official respondents.

                      The court further directed for “maintaining status quo” on the spot “as it exists” till the next date before the bench.

                      In the petition, it has been alleged that Choudhary Ramzan has been able to secure permission for raising the two-storeyed structure on two plots after conniving with officials, including those from the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

                      Yatoo in his petition has urged the high court to quash the building permission orders issued by the chairman of the Building Operations and Control Authority (BOCA) on August 27, 2013, by virtue of which Ramzan and his kin were allowed to raise the structure.

                      Apart from requesting the high court to give directions to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to seal/demolish the said construction on the site, Yatoo in his petition has also sought directions for initiating action against the alleged erring corporation officials.
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