SRINAGAR: The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has failed for the last five months to conduct any review meeting of the Building Operations Controlling Authority (BOCA).
Affected house builders told Kashmir Reader that the BOCA has failed to conduct such a meeting since May 2018.
Prospective builders allege that the department has done nothing on their applications so far, despite their getting No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from at least nine departments and completing all formalities required to get permission for construction.
“My house got damaged due to the 2014 floods. We have been living in this house for the last three years as we are not in a condition to build a new one. Now we want to construct a new house for which we need permission, but we know they won’t give it to us. They are compelling us to go in for illegal constructions in LAWDA’s jurisdiction,” said Abdul Satar, a resident of Aashaye Bagh.
He said they have been visiting the department for the last six months, “but they don’t pay any heed towards our issues”.
“Winter is approaching; what will we do in the chilly season? We approached the BOCA officials in LAWDA at least ten times for permission to build our house, but they are deferring the meeting dates,” he added
“They notified for meeting us at least four times, but due to absence of some officials, they cancelled each meeting and gave us lame excuses. Either they said the DC is not present, or they sometimes said other officials are not present.”
As per the officials, the LAWDA used to conduct these meetings frequently to avoid inconvenience to the public, but that no meeting has been conducted since ex-vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Masoodi was transferred from this department. Before that, almost one hundred meetings of BOCA were held, officials said.
In-charge Vice Chairman Syed Aabid Rasheed has the additional charge and he only visits the department twice a week. Only he is authorised to head the meeting.
Secretary LAWDA told Kashmir Reader that the BOCA meeting would be held in a few days.
“The meeting was delayed because of the polls as the in-charge Vice-Chairman, who is also Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, is busy with the Urban Local Bodies polls in Srinagar,” he said.
The Secretary assured that the BOCA meeting would be conducted within a week and that all files will be reviewed during the meeting.