Constructions on agricultural land going on unabated in Anantnag

Aman Malik

Anantnag, Jun 6: Agricultural land across Anantnag is shrinking fast, courtesy rampant construction of commercial as well as residential structures in the district for over a decade.
Reports said despite the government imposing a ban on such constructions, they were going on in full swing.
“Rich and affluent people get the necessary permissions for construction over agricultural land. The ban remains in force for lesser mortals,” said an official in the Revenue Department.
He said constructions were going on at almost all the agricultural land stretches in the district and that the department had chosen not to interfere while the people with political clout continued to vandalise the agricultural land.
“You can see for yourself. The most evident of them all is the construction on the farm land along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway,” the official said.
“This stretch from Bijbehara to Batengoo used to be a lush green, open space of farm land five years ago. Now, the land has transformed into a concrete jungle with residential and commercial establishments multiplying like rabbits,” he said.
Same is the case with the other stretches of agricultural land across the district.
“The time is not far when Anantnag district will not produce any agricultural products and the blame would fall on the authorities,” said a local farmer, Abdul Rahman Malik.
Sources said officials in the district administration who opposed such illegal constructions met with stiff resistance from political power houses of the state.
“What can we do if the government is not serious about enforcing such bans in letter and spirit? We have our hands tied and affluent people continue to use the fragile farm land as they please with the patronage of their political godfathers,” said a high-ranking official in the district administration on the condition of anonymity.