Srinagar, July 26, KDC: The Jammu and Kashmir Special Tribunal Srinagar in a landmark decision has on Monday directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation to cancel the permission granted by then Joint Commissioner Planning of the civic body in 2019 to an land owner for construction of residential flats in Nadir Gund area in Peerbagh on wetland and Abi-awal land.
The Tribunal directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to remove the illegally constructed structure so that the natural portion of water body is restored.
Pertinently, news agency Kashmir Dot Com had carried a story on July 15 titled: “In 2019, SMC grants permission for building residential flats in wetland, Abi Awal in Peerbagh Srinagar.
The then joint Commissioner planning had issued illegal permission to a land owner for constructing six story and eight block residential flats on Abi awal and wetland in Toiba Colony in Nadir Gund area in Peerbagh which is a wetland area and acts as flood detention basin for whole of Srinagar.
The owner didn’t have permission from the Flood Control and Revenue departments.
Officials said that the owner is violating National Green Tribune and Water Management rules by blocking the flood detention basin flow.
The Tribunal in its judgment according to news agency Kashmir Dot Com (KDC) said, “Instead of ensuring strict adherence to norms and building laws and other relevant laws, the then Jt. Commissioner, Planning, SMC issued the building permission dated 16.10.2019 by throwing all norms to the wind…Since the aforesaid building permission dated 16.10.2019 has admittedly been issued in violation of all norms and Master Plan-2035 and Govt. Order No. 138-Rev(S) of 2016 dated 07/10/2016 and, more so, without the approval of competent authority, all proceedings undertaken in pursuance of the said building permission has no foundation and are, therefore, liable to fall to the ground.”
The Tribunal while recommending for rescending the building permission said, “While appreciating the role of Incumbent Commissioner, SMC and Incumbent Joint Commissioner, Planning, SMC in discharging their obligations to shape the city in a more profound way, the correct course of action for the said respondents to be adopted in this case, rather than keeping the said building permission order in abeyance/on hold, is to immediately rescind the said building permission dated 16.10.2019 issued by the then Jt. Commissioner, Planning, SMC without any authority and competence and further take necessary steps for ensuring protection and preservation of these water bodies, and restore the wetland in question to its original/natural position as it existed prior to issue of building permission order dated 16.02.2019 read with order dated 16.10.2019. Both these building permissions are colossal violations of Master Plan and contrary to land use, admittedly issued in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy by the perpetrators of this naked fraud.”
Furthermore regarding removal of construction it said, “To arrest this growing tendency, which has of late assumed monstrous proportions, Commissioner SMC shall maintain liaison with the concerned Revenue Agencies, Vice-Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority and Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Kashmir and other concerned agencies like LAWDA for retrieval/restoration of the wetland in question, by removal of all constructions, if any, raised thereupon surreptitiously in contravention of government instructions, besides being in gross violation of a catena of judgments delivered by the J&K High Court, National Green Tribunal and Supreme Court involving reckless, unregulated and ever increasing conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. This exercise shall be completed within one week positively after complying with all statutory requirements and, if necessary, seek necessary assistance from Sr. Superintendent of Police, Srinagar in this behalf, reads the order.”
The Tribunal has directed to furnish a compliance report on or before the next date of hearing, which is fixed as 02.08.2021.
Advocate Musaib who was representing Public welfare Committee Toiba Colony in the case told Kashmir Dot Com (KDC) that its first time tribunal Judgement has been extraordinary where they have shown serious concern for the city environment.
Locals in Peerbagh area said that rampant violations have taken place and number of houses and buildings have been raised on the wetland and Abi awal land in the area which have blocked the flood detention basin of Narkara wetland. The locals have sought the intervention of LG administration in probing all these illegal permissions to the violators and demanded action against them and the officials found involved. (KDC)