Locals filling wetland with earth at Saida Kadal

Locals filling wetland with earth at Saida Kadal
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Raja Aasim

Srinagar: Land filing is going on at full pace on the bank of an offshoot of Dal Lake at Saida Kadal near Rangar Stop.
Locals are filling the water body with debris, soil and boulders to convert into a patch of land suitable for constructions.
This reporter found that tin-walls have been erected to strengthen the encroachment. Some people were seen spreading the landfill material with shovels behind the tin-walls in broad day light.
Lakes and Waterways Development Authority has imposed a ban on any kind of construction in the area but despite it encroachers are carrying on the job.
Sources in the area told Kashmir Reader that officials were aware about the encroachment going on but were afraid to take action. “Several people and activists have brought up the matter with concern authorities,” sources said adding “Authorities executed a demolition drive last week but once they left the encroachment process resumed very next day.”
Enforcement Officer Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, DSP Suhail Reshi told Kashmir Reader that demolition drive has several formalities even as the department has written a letter for permission.
Reshi said that department cannot execute demolition drive alone because encroachers attack the staff.
“Whenever a few officials had gone to carry out the drive they were attacked so we take police and magistrate along with us,” he said. “To carry out routine demolition drive is not possible in that area because of law and order problem.”