SRINAGAR: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has encroached on the Jhelum Bund by constructing nearly half-a-dozen concrete bunkers on the embankments from the newly constructed Zero Bridge to Sonawar for “security cover” to SK Stadium, Circuit House, and other government buildings. The whole stretch has been kept out of bounds for pedestrians and both the ends are enclosed with barbed wires.
The bunkers are almost equidistant starting from Zero Bridge right outside the department of Irrigation and Flood Control up to Aramwari footbridge that connects the bund with Sonawar.
Local residents said there were bunkers already inside the premises of the government buildings which the CRPF is guarding, but for the last month, the CRPF has started constructing concrete bunkers on the Bund as well.
“There were some bunkers inside the boundary wall and the footpath was open except at a couple of places where temporary bunkers were built from sand bags,” said Waseem Ahamad, who stays in a rented accommodation on the other side of the bund. “But a couple of weeks ago they dismantled the temporary bunkers and started constructing new concrete ones.”
According to sources in Srinagar Municipal Corporation, the bunkers are being constructed “illegally” because “nobody has applied” for any permission for these structures.
Since nobody has approached for the permission, the constructions are therefore coming up in clear violations of J&K Building Operation Control Act 1988 through which SMC grants permissions and regulates building activities within the city.
The SMC recently conducted an anti-encroachment drive and demolished various illegal structures in different parts of Srinagar including Dalgate, Residency Road, Jahangir Chowk, Parimpora, Tengpora, Batamaloo, Hyderpora, Soura Buchpora and Nagbal. But the structures on the bund right in the city centre raised by CRPF remain invisible to the authorities.
SMC Chief Enforcement Officer Sofi Mohammad Akbar told Kashmir Reader that they have “no information about the constructions”.