Unabated

Unabated

Illegal constructions apparently are galore these days in Kashmir. The reasons, on the face of it, pertain to the usual: greed, sleaze and exploitation. But these are constants of human nature that apply and are operative across the world spanning cultures, and different societies. However, this kind of activity, that is, illegal construction on the scale that is taking place does not happen there. The question that arises is: why is it happening here? The answer lies in complicity of those who are actually supposed to guard the vale against illegal constructions, lack of monitoring and oversight mechanisms and, that mother of all reasons, corruption. The combination of these reasons ensures that illegal constructions go on unabated here. For the sake of petty interests of a short term nature, those indulging in this immoral and insalubrious activity are causing long term damage to both the ecology and environment of Kashmir. But, they don’t care. All they care for is their petty interests and selves. And, they will continue to maraud the ecology, unless and until there is a corrective to their actions. Society here can take and assume a pivotal and a critical role. First and foremost, illegal construction must be disincentivized by criminalizing it and rendering it null and void in the process. Those indulging in it must be ostracized and singled out for attention by society. But, in the final analysis, these measures might not constitute an effective deterrent against the incurable and irredeemable people who will continue with these activities regardless. Here the administration can take the lead and actually ensure that illegal construction activities do not take place. This can be done through and by vigorous oversight, accountability measures and a strict regime of punishment for those who are involved in these activities. But, all these measures will come to naught and fly flat against reality if the root of the problem, that is, corruption, is not weeded out. Here again society has a role to play by actually disincentivizing corruption and rendering it an activity that is shunned and abhorred by society. There should and must be a strong taboo associated with corruption and corrupt practices. In combination with other measures delineated here, the acute issue and problem of illegal constructions that go on unabated can be given short shrift and a semblance of both normality and proportional morality be accorded to issues of this nature here.