Govt turns blind eye on illegal constructions by departments

Govt turns blind eye on illegal constructions by departments
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Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Jul 6: While government has framed a policy to deal with unauthorized constructions, there is complete silence on illegal constructions by government departments over the years.
The Government has notified the policy to deal with the menace of unauthorized constructions in twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar and holy town of Katra. Under the policy, no violation of any sort that has come up after December 31, 2016 will be considered and all the basic facilities like drinking water and electricity will be denied to those violators, who are eligible for regularization but will fail to avail the one-time settlement within the stipulated time-frame.
The Expert Committees constituted by the Housing and Urban Development Department have categorized the violations into different types—built up area violation, set back/building line violations, ground coverage violations, land use violations, parking norms violations and constructions within the norms of the building byelaws/ Master Plan but for which no permission has been obtained.
However sources said that hundreds of government department constructions have been raised in the state in master plan violations and without permission from the competent authorities.
According to a circular issued by Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) to departments last year says that government departments, organizations and PSUs which are in need of renovating their offices or constructing new buildings are not seeking permissions from the competent authorities. “It has been observed that such constructions are mostly in contradiction to the existing master plans of cities, towns and rules by laws in vogue,” the circular reads.
Now, therefore all the government departments, organizations are hereby enjoined upon that the construction, renovation of any building be initiated only after getting the plans of buildings approved from the competent authorities and after paying the requisite fee,” it reads.
The directions according to officials have come in view of the master plan violations not only by the people but by the government departments of which many are regulatory bodies for implementing laws. “Government has been often blaming the people but most of its new buildings constructed over the years have not been approved by the competent agencies. There are also some government constructions which have been raised on the flood channels, and notified areas,” an official of HUDD department said.
The SMC, LAWDA and other agencies had demolished scores of constructions in Srinagar which were raised after the 2014 floods. However, these agencies have maintained silence over the government buildings that have been raised in violations of the rules. (KNS)