CCTVs at Dal, Nigeen to keep eye on illegal construction

CCTVs at Dal, Nigeen to keep eye on illegal construction

Srinagar: To keep a check on supply of construction material in and around Dal and Nigeen areas, the government has directed the Lakes and Waterways Authority (LAWDA) to install CCTV cameras at all routes in the vicinity through which vehicles pass.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan. The High Court-constituted Committee of Experts to look into preservation and restoration of Dal and Nigeen lakes was present at the meeting.
During the meeting, the Enforcement Wing of LAWDA was directed to furnish a list of locations where checkpoints are required to be established, so that CCTV cameras can be installed at all these locations.
The state government has failed to rehabilitate Dal dwellers to a new location and in the past few decades only a few hundred families have been shifted to Rakh-e-Arth and eight other residential colonies.
According to official data, more than 8,300 families still live in and around the Dal and are yet to be rehabilitated.
Many people have been raising illegal structures in and around the Dal and Nigeen lakes. The demolition squad of LAWDA regularly demolishes such concrete structures but often, as soon as the squad leaves, the construction is again started.
Officials at LAWDA told Kashmir reader that the reason for the continuing illegal construction is the government’s failure to rehabilitate the dwellers. They say that only a few cases of rehabilitation have been accepted by the Building Operations Controlling Authority (BOCA).
“People whose cases are rejected are compelled to go for illegal construction, as it takes many months for the legal procedure that follows,” the official said.
“Recently, they (LAWDA) seized a tipper that was carrying construction material to the Dal. But this will have an effect only for some time, after which everything will go back to what was happening. We just hope that the CCTV cameras will be able to stop the illegal construction,” the official said.
The surveillance work will be done in coordination with the district police, the official said, adding that a list of locations where checkpoints are required will soon be prepared by the department.
Vice Chairman LAWDA, Sajjad Hussain, told Kashmir Reader that CCTVs will be installed at every checkpoint to curb the illegal ferrying of construction material.
“At some locations we have completed the installation of these CCTV cameras. The rest will be completed within a month,” Hussain said.
“We have also asked the police department to speed up the process of prosecution in cases where FIRs have been registered, and to furnish the action-taken report within 15 days,” he further said.