Pahalgam Master Plan a ‘master conspiracy’
Babus Bought Land, Designated It Non-Green; Residential Areas Shown Green
Pahalgam, Nov 22: The master plan framed to save the ecologically fragile environment of this tourist resort has failed to serve any purpose as, sources say, it was only prepared to pave the way for some influential people to acquire land and go for illegal constructions.
A committee comprising Mir Naseem Ahmad, the then Chief Town Planner; Hamid Ahmad Wani, the then Town Planner; and Nazir Ahmad, the then Assistant Town Planner, was constituted in 2004 to prepare the master plan for Pahalgam.
Sources in the Building Operations and Controlling Authority (BOCA) say that while the plan was being formulated, some top bureaucrats acquired land in ecologically fragile areas with the help of the land mafia and in their personal interest managed to designate these fragile areas as permissible in the land use map of the master plan.
“The land across the Sheesh Nag Nallah and Mani-Pal Nallah in Chanhaji, a virgin area falling in the forest-covered foot hills was declared permissible without getting comprehensive feedback. But ironically the residential areas of Rinzipal and Bradihaji on the other side of Nallah has been declared non-permissible zone,” sources said.
The residents say that though they raised their voice against the injustice many times but to no avail, as according to them no Government dares to go against these influential bureaucrats.
“Pahalgam is our heavenly abode and we can never think of turning it into hell by disturbing its ecology, but the influential and rich people who intend to do so are being given safe passage while we are not being allowed construct a small house or even a shed on our land,” said 90-year old Asadullah Bhat of Rinzipal village.
Bhat says his sons and their families have nowhere to go and have to be content with their small ancestral house of four rooms.
The State Vigilance Organisation has already registered a case, FIR. No. 27/2008 P/S VOK, against the accused officers and investigation has been taken up. The SVO officials have reportedly recovered documents relating to the acquisition of land at various places by the accused.
Sources say that the committee resorted to misrepresentation, manipulations and distortions whereby it proposed that sub zone A-14, an inaccessible area on the other side of Sheesh Nag Nallah to be de-notified to permit construction of hutments and other facilities while ignoring the sub-zone A-13 having sizeable population and being contiguous with the already de-notified area.
Sources said subsequent enquiries have revealed that a former Chief Town Planner had fraudulently acquired land measuring 29 Kanals 13 Marlas under survey no. 825, 827, 835 and 836 in 1999 through gift-deed in the name of a trusted aide.
“After fraudulently acquiring the land by proxy, the plan was conceived to arbitrarily change the land use to induce sharp increase in the value of land in sub-zone A-14 for personal gains,” sources said.
“The officials mislead the Government by hatching a conspiracy in omitting the proposal of the de-notification of sub-zone A-14 from the draft master plan made available to general public and thus the plan was approved in 2006 in the form proposed by the accused, which actually recommended change in land use,” sources added.
Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority, and Member Secretary BOCA, Waheed Tak, while admitting ‘loopholes in the master plan,’ said, “The plan certainly is not of much utility for a particular residential area already existing since ages that has been declared green while the inaccessible forest areas have been marked as non-green.”
Tak said he had recently taken up the issue of revision of the master plan with Chief Minister and the latter’s response was positive.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 22 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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