SRINAGAR: It’s not a skewed bridge that hue and cry would be raised by every person; it is a big commercial complex coming up on the bank of river Jhelum at Zero Bridge Rajbagh Srinagar under the eyes of government, so silence is what rulers have adopted.
Blatantly violating the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directions, PDP-BJP government is allowing a multi-storey building construction, owned by private person namely, Gulzar Ahmed Sheikh in the summer capital which is just few meters away from River Jhelum.
According to sources, Sheikh has bought nearly 16 kanals of land in early 2000 from the then Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Chief Engineer and two other local persons, and when he started construction, initially he faced official hindrances but later he managed to get no objection certificates (NOCs) from all the concerned departments.
In 2014, when the State witnessed devastating floods, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the government to clear all the encroachments and structures for “preservation and protection” of the river Jhelum, seemingly that order has been thrown into dustbin.
However, recently held Assembly session, in the winter capital, the issue had gained momentum after it was raked up in the Legislative Assembly by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Minister for Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Sham Lal Choudhary while talking to STATE TIMES said, “I can’t do anything, as the aforesaid person has all the documents. I am helpless.”
Minister for Housing and Urban Development (H&UD), Sat Paul Sharma said, “I have recently assumed the charge of H&UD ministry. I will look into the matter, and if the under construction building has violated norms. I assure that it will be demolished and strict action will be taken against the owner and officials.”
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