Illegal constructions unabated on Jhelum embankment; authorities in slumber
Sumbal, Dec 27: The people of Sumbal township of Bandipora district have demanded immediate removal of encroachments from the banks of river Jhelum.
They said encroachments on Jhelum embankment in Sumbal and Hajin were going on unabated with authorities turning blind eye towards the issue.
“Construction of illegal structures, including concrete houses continue on the banks of the river near old bridge in Sumbal, Hajin, Shilvat, Shadipora and Madvan,” the locals said and accused the officials in the district administration of allegedly being hand-in-glove with the encroachers.
“It is ironical that despite our repeated reminders and pleas, the authorities haven’t taken action against the encroachers. Huge houses as well as huts are being illegally constructed on the river bank and there is nobody to check it. The illegal constructions mock at the government’s claims of undertaking the revival of Jhelum. We will move to the Court to save the river,” the residents of Sumbal told Greater Kashmir.
Pointing towards the houses on river banks, the locals said, few years ago, the spot was an open expanse of land. “It was a beautiful spot. We used to sit on the banks and enjoy the cool breeze of Jhelum. People of the locality and its adjoining areas used to organize picnics and functions there. Now it has been encroached and turned into a garbage dump. Besides the municipal authorities also dump waste here,” said Ghulam Hassan.
Besides, raising structures, thousands of trees have been planted on the banks even as the river continues to shrink, the residents added.
They said that authorities banned illegal extraction of sand near the river banks but failed to dismantle the illegal structures. “We appeal to the District Development Commissioner to dismantle these structures at an earliest so that the pristine glory of the Jhelum is restored,” the residents said and also sought the intervention of Chief Minster, Omar Abdullah in this regard.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 27 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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