High Court imposes ban, directs DC Anantnag to remove illegal structures
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: Taking cognizance of the constructions along Bijbehara-Pahalgam road close to the wild life sanctuary, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to stop the constructions in the area and also remove the structures that have come up there.
Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul in response to the petition filed by Pahalgam People’s Welfare Association, asked the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to take appropriate action ensuring that no illegal constructions come up on the agriculture land in the area.
“If any unauthorised constructions have been raised, take effective steps for their removal and submit a response to this application and a report clearly stating the steps taken for stopping all illegal constructions and for the removal of unauthorised constructions already raised,” the order issued by the high court reads.
The court earlier on the basis of complaints lodged to Deputy Commissioner Anantnag had directed Sub-Divisional Magistrate Pahalgam, Chief executive officer PDA and Tehsildar Pahalgam to stop illegal constructions. However it was informed by the concerned officers that none of the areas fall within the domain of Pahalgam Development Authority and they were not in a position to take action into the matter.
Following the information provided by the officers, the court directed the DC Anantnag to take action.
Commercial constructions in many villages like Langanbal, Dahwatoo and Laddi started coming up illegally on agriculture land after the authorities brought Yanner and Movura villages located on banks of Lidder river on Khanabal-Pahalgam road under the ambit of Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) few years ago.
These areas despite being more close to Pahalgam were not brought under the jurisdiction of PDA following which the land mafia shifted its focus to the area. These area also lie close to the Awura Wildlife sanctuary raising concern among the environmental activists that the constructions in these areas might disturb not only ecology of these areas but wild life as well.
A local activist, Mushtaq Pahalgami, said that the directions by the honorable court will definitely help save the area from turning into concrete commercial colony as happened with Movura and Yanner areas.
“This stretch of Bijbehara-Langanbal road is ecologically more fragile than Pahalgam. And we cannot afford to lose this area to concretization,” Pahalgami said.