What happened to inquiry on Master Plan violations?

Tara sought report in 3 days; over year on, yet to reach his office

M HYDERI

Srinagar, Feb 18: In December 2009, Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand ordered a high level inquiry into the violations of Master Plan in the Srinagar City while the concerned were directed to submit the report within three days. Over a year on, the report is to reach the top office even as the Minister said past year summer turmoil hindered its submission.

THE COMMITTEE
 Sources said the high-level committee constituted to report on Master Plan violations, had identified over 2000 “illegal” buildings including those owned by “high profile people”.
 But since January last year it was reportedly shelved following overt and covert “political pressures”, they added.
 On December 7, the Deputy Chief Minister, had directed the committee headed by then Additional Commissioner, Kashmir Ishtiaq Ahmed Ashai to file the report within three days. The committee included members from Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWWDA), Urban Local Bodies and the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA).

THE PRESSURES
 Sources said as the names of some influential persons including politicians popped up in the list of offenders, the “blue eyed families started lobbying in the corridors of power.”
 “Finally, they pleaded before the Housing (and Urban development) Ministry that if action was to be taken then it should start from that on violations in Jammu province,” the sources said adding, after this, the committee was asked to slow down.
 “At first the committee was asked not to recommend demolition of any illegal building but, ‘corrective measures’ and file the report urgently. But subsequently, following more of pressures, the report was shelved to avoid any controversy,” said a senior official then working with the SMC.

THE SUMMER HINDRANCE
 Following embarrassment over months of delay in submission of the inquiry report, the government last year called a meeting in June but it remained inconclusive because most of the invited officials didn’t turn up.
 The high-level meeting called on June 24 decided to hold another round of talks. But till now it never matured.

COMMITTEE HEADLESS
 Additional Commissioner, Ishtiaq Ahmed Ashai who has appointed as the committee head for now says he is not party to the probe.
 “I am no more the head to that committee. Your better contact the Housing department,” Ashai said and dropped the phone.

TARA PLEADS DELAY
 Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand pleaded the delay in the submission of the report saying the past year summer unrest played spoilsport.
 “As everyone knows the situation didn’t remain conducive so the matter got delayed. But I am hopeful it will be submitted soon,” Tara told Greater Kashmir

Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST




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