Dozens of structures demolished in past few years, except this one
Anantnag: While dozens of upcoming and old structures have been demolished along the NH-44 over the past few years, given a ban on such construction, a petrol pump is being constructed by some apparently influential person near Gaelandar, in brazen violation of norms, without any objection from the district administration.
Soon after the NH-44 was made functional a few years ago, it was announced that construction within 100 meters of NH-44 was not allowed. Besides, there is already a ban on construction on agricultural land, through which major stretches of NH-44 run.
“This particular stretch, Gaealndar-Nowgam, which bypasses Pampore town also runs through prime agricultural land,” a source in the Revenue department told Kashmir Reader.
Notwithstanding the two curbs on construction, an influential local started constructing a petrol pump right amidst agricultural land and in close proximity to the NH-44.
Local sources that Kashmir Reader talked to said that the construction was started soon after the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in Kashmir valley, and has been going on ever since.
“The person concerned is politically well connected and has managed to carry out the construction without any hindrance from the authorities,” the local sources said, adding, “The construction is nearing completion.”
The locals question the “criminal silence” of the district administration over this illegal construction.
“Isn’t law equal for everyone? If they (the administration) have demolished dozens of structures along NH-44 across south Kashmir, why is someone being allowed to brazenly trample the guidelines? Where is the administration?” the locals asked.
The administration, meanwhile, seems to be passing the buck around while feigning ignorance regarding the whole issue.
Kashmir Reader talked to Tehsildar Pampore, Ishtiyaq Mohiuddin, who maintained that the place where the petrol pump was being constructed falls within the jurisdiction of Tehsil Kakapora.
The Kakpora Tehsilar, Ashiq Hussain, said he was not aware of any such construction being carried out, for he has recently joined the posting. “I will look into the matter and see if the place falls within my jurisdiction. Will be able to tell you anything only after that,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Pulwama, Roomin A Sheikh, also said that he was not aware of any such matter. “I will have to look into it,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama, Raghav Langer, did not attend the call of this reporter and chose to ignore the query raised through WhatsApp texts, following the call. He did check his messages but did not reply.