Committee headed by CEO to grant permissions for repairs of houses, other structures
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: What could prove to be a major relief to the people at famed spot, Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA), the main nodal agency meant for development of the world famous tourist destination, has decided to grant permissions for minor and urgent repair of houses and other structures locally.
This is for the first time that PDA has taken such a people friendly move since the High Court (HC) banned all types of constructions and repairs in the areas, falling within the jurisdiction of PDA in 2010.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pahalgam, Masrat Hashim, last week constituted a committee under his chairmanship which will grant permissions for minor and urgent repairs of residential and other structures.
Others members of the committee include Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Pahalgam, Executive Engineer PDA, Assistant Director Tourism, Pahalgam, Range Officer Lidder Forest Range (for forest areas only) and Range Officer Wild Life (for wild life areas only).
“Sanction is hereby accorded to constitution of committee under the chairmanship of CEO, PDA for issuance of permissions for minor (urgent) repairs falling within the jurisdiction of Pahalgam development authority (PDA),” the order issued by the CEO, PDA reads.
The committee, order further reads, shall process such cases in accordance with law, provisions of master plan Pahalgam-2032, orders of the high court and instructions/ orders issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government from time to time.
The High Court in 2009 had imposed ban on constructions and repairs in Pahalgam in response to a PIL. The court had described the old master plan full of flaws asking the government to come up with revised master plan. Though the government over three years ago approved the revised master plan following which the high court asked the PDA to grant permissions through BOCA in accordance with its directions.
However, that did not prove to be of any relief for the local people as they allege BOCA (building operations and controlling authority) supposed to grant permissions has failed to clear their permission files.
BOCA is headed by deputy commissioner Anantnag with heads of various departments like forest, wild life, Fisheries, tourism being its members.
CEO, PDA, Masrat Hashim speaking to Precious Kashmir said that the committee framed by him is aimed at providing relief to the locals, who have suffered the most after the High Court ban on constructions in the area.
“Since the permissions are supposed to be given by the BOCA but to help the locals who have to wait for a long for BOCA to meet and clear the cases, I approached Deputy Commissioner (DC) and discussed with him as to how locals can be given relief. He agreed to my suggestion to constitute a committee which could locally grant permission for minor and urgent repairs,” CEO told Precious Kashmir.
The officer, since assuming the charge over two months ago has gone tough against the violators carrying out illegal constructions and major renovations in nexus with lower rung officials of the PDA.
Locals have hailed the CEO for applying the law both on the influential and poor locals.
“We have first time seen the law being applied here without any discrimination,” said a local, Bilal Ahmad.
CEO said that he has halted around twenty illegal constructions since assuming the charge.
“I will not allow anyone no matter how influential he is to violate the law. My notice is to help the people, especially those who have no access to the power. I don’t bother who gets pleased and who gets annoyed I will not allow illegal constructions or repairs,” CEO said.