Is SMC responsible for illegal constructions in city? Yes, says top official

Is SMC responsible for illegal constructions in city? Yes, says top official

SRINAGAR: Is the ground staff of Srinagar Municipal Corporation responsible for the illegal constructions coming up in the city? Yes, says a top official in the civic body responsible for clearing building permissions within the city’s municipal boundaries.
Since last week, the civic body has claimed to have acted against 15 violators by demolishing their illegal structures. But the essential question, which most people ask is; who allows these constructions in the face of an army of staff on ground.
Locals allege that while authorities are claiming of
acting against offenders, officials are hand-in-glove with influential persons.
“The concerned department is ignoring all illegal activities, even on the main roads, in full sight. Offenders just erect tin-walls and tarpaulin sheets on the face of sites while carrying out constructions. During election days, shutdowns and holidays they find good chance to complete their work,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a residents of Mill Stop Hawal in Srinagar.
“Basically, both parties are responsible. Those who are constructing the buildings and those who allow them to do so. Those who are constructing want things to be done quickly and then they approach the authorities with bribe, but they don’t understand the risk of lives they are taking while do so,” he added.
Muzaffar Ahmad, a resident of Soura, also put the blame on SMC staff.
“I want to ask authorities a simple question related to illegal construction. What their ward officer does when they see suspicious tin-wall and tarpaulins erected on roadside. Don’t they have a courtesy to see whether people are following proper procedure,” Muzaffar said.
“The ward officers know people either erect tin-walls or place tarpaulins to erect illegal structures and despite that they don’t bother to take action against them. Once illegal structures are complete violators get permission from ward officers. Is it that ward officers receive money,” Muzafar said.
Commissioner SMC Khurshid Ahmad Sanai, admitted that ward officers “are not doing their duty with honestly and allow the violators to carry out illegal constructions”.
“Those employees who are not ready to share their responsibility have to face strict action. They must have to do their work properly on the ground,” Sanai said, adding, “We have already transferred many ward officers and demolished illegal construction wherever we find. I am personally monitoring the situation. We also appealed the general public not to raise any construction without getting prior permission from the authorities.”