From Pattan to Panzinara illegal soil cutting, land filling on rise

From Pattan to Panzinara illegal soil cutting, land filling on rise
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Srinagar, Dec 19: People are up in arms against Revenue Department for allowing some influential persons to disfigure the beauty of landscape and conversion of agricultural land into residential ones.
As per locals, continuous soil cutting and land filling by some contractors and influential people in some Pattan areas including Chek Razaq Khan and Panzinara areas of north Kashmir have badly affected the inhabitants. They allege that despite ban on conversion of agricultural lands into residential colonies, some people are violating the rules and are busy in filling process. “We want to migrate from the area. We wish the influential retired officer who has purchased over 100 kanals of land purchase our property too. This man is using over 50 to 60 tippers on daily basis to fill up the agricultural land. These tippers have damaged the roads completely. The irony is that these tippers pass through interiors of locality and are source of continuous pollution,” the locals from Chek Razaq Khan Mirgund said.
They said how this influential retired officer can convert agriculture land into commercial area.
“Come and visit the highway from Zangam Pattan to Mirgund. It is in dilapidated condition because of these tippers who carry wet soil on daily basis,” the locals said.
The owner of the land who is retired police officer and a political leader vehemently refuted the charges saying that he has proper permission from Deputy Commissioner Baramulla. “The matter is also in the court of law. The area where land filling is underway is not a residential one,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Panzinara area on Srinagar-Bandipora road, the owner of a hospital is busy in filling up the wet land. If locals are to be believed, the said influential person is mulling to convert this wet land into a residential colony. When asked him how he is violating the rules, he said he has permission from the court. “I am not filling up the land to create a colony but it has been only for cultivation purposes,” he added.
Locals said that the owner of the hospital has already created a residential colony in the area. “He filled agriculture land and created plots that he sold to desired people, thus made huge profits,” they said.
Locals said that soil is being procured from different areas of Pattan. “We are helpless and are unable to initiate action against the land mafia and tipper drivers as we get phone calls from some political leaders in favour of these tipper drivers. The irony is that a security guard of a political leader calls us giving reference of his boss asking to not to touch tipper drivers,” said a government official wishing not to be named.
The security guard in question refuted the charges saying he has nothing to do with this. “It is the job of administration. How can I interfere,” he added. (CNS)