Big fish:

SMC demolition squad retreats without performing legal duty

Srinagar, Nov 22, CNS: The demolition squad of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Wednesday became of butt of jokes, when on the behest of some officials and politicians the squad was stopped from dismantling a portion of a hostel that has been raised illegally in violation of Building Permission Order.

Reports said that a demolition squad from SMC assisted by a police party faced embarrassment at Sanat Nagar area of Srinagar city when an influential family utilized all their resources to sent back the squad comprising Chief Enforcement Officer, Ward Officer and other employees of the Corporation.

“We have been waiting here for couple of hours but the owner of the hostel is not letting us in. Even a politician along with his security men arrived here in his vehicle to support the owner of the hostel who has violated Building Permission Order,” said an SMC employee on condition of anonymity to news agency CNS.

He added that the hut of a poor man is being dismantled without any delay, but big fish are always spared.

“Though Municipal Commissioner SMC is keen to follow rules and wants illegal portion of the hostel to get dismantled, but the owner is very influential and has been stopping us from performing our duties,” said an SMC official adding that despite SMC order directing the owner of the hostel to halt construction work, the construction is going on.

An order copy duly signed by Joint Commissioner Planning SMC is lying with CNS which reads: “Whereas building permission was issued for construction of Ground plus three storeyed hostel building with stilt parking in ground floor vide order number 1690 of 2016 dated 19/2/2016 in favour of one (name withheld, read Mr X) at Sanat Nagar.”

“Whereas this office has received complaints from two persons wherein they alleged that Mr X is constructing commercial complex in their premises and is brazenly violating the building permission, the complaint is duly endorsed by Private Secretary to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir vide number DivCom/Ps/Misc/2017/4786 Dated 31/10/2017.”

“Whereas Ward Officer, Ward Number 32 reported that the construction in question have come up with gross violation of the sanctioned plan and recommended for demoltion and keeping the building permission in abeyance.”

“ATP after site visit reported that the applicant has deviated from approved proposals in terms of setbacks/plinth area.”

“Taking the cognizance of the matte, Competent Authority has ordered that the permission issued vide order number 1690 of 2016 dated 19/2/2016 in favour of Mr X be kept in abeyance till further orders.”

When contacted, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation Reyaz Ahmed Wani said that law will take its own course. “Let me check the report and I will let you know,” he said. (CNS)