Contractor dies without getting paid for work, his family keeps the building safe
Anantnag: A school building, completed almost three decades ago, is yet to be taken over by the concerned department while the family of the now deceased contractor continues to take care of the structure amid alleged encroachments upon the land around the structure.
In the early ’90s, a Girl’s Primary School building was sanctioned, for Kamad village on the outskirts of the main town of Anantnag, and a local contractor was entrusted with the task of carrying out the construction.
The contractor, Ghulam Muhammad Mir, completed the building soon after but was never paid for the work he did. He died last year of Covid. “The total cost of the work was Rs 25000 and when my father went to the treasury in block Achabal, soon after he completed the work, he was told they did not have any money,” Mir’s son, Haji Rafiq, told Kashmir Reader.
While Mir’s payment was withheld, the building was never handed over to the concerned department. “There was a vigilance case, the other buildings that were constructed at the same time were demolished and other things kept happening. This building was spared and its possession remained with us,” Haji said.
While the Primary School continues to function from within the premises of the local High School, the land around the school has been encroached upon all these years. The land belonged to the Revenue department and measured around a Kanal and 17 Marlas in total.
“Now there are two more buildings on the premises, and the land left is not even more than 15 Marlas at the most,” Haji said, “The rest of the land has been encroached upon,”
Haji and some other residents have also lodged complaints with the district administration against the encroachment but to no avail. The government, meanwhile, has constructed a Patwaarkhana and a Health Sub-Centre on the same land.
“The Patwarkhana and the Sub-Centre are functional while the school buildings lie in ruin. We have saved it from encroachers, drug addicts, and arsonists over these years while the administration has remained unmoved and not taken it over,” Haji said.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Anantnag, Shoaub Noor, assured that he will look into the matter on priority basis.
“An anti-encroachment drive is already going on and if any land has been encroached upon, we will retrieve it,” he said, adding that he will look into the matter of the school building as well. “I will do this on a priority basis,” he said.