Illegal constructions galore on Islamabad springs; authorities in slumber
Islamabad, (Anantnag) July 30: After the rivers, irrigation canals and streams, illegal constructions are now coming up even on the pristine springs of this South Kashmir town with authorities indifferent towards the issue.
“Already most all the major irrigation canals, rivers and streams passing through the town have completely vanished while others have shrunk to an extent of extinction and now as if this was not enough encroachments now galore even on fresh water springs here,” residents said.
They said, in clear violation of norms, recently 13 concrete shops were constructed on the outlet of the Nagbal springs at Dangerpora while 14 more are coming up with authorities acting as mute spectators. “As the encroachers happen to be hooligans of the town and have the full backing of some local politicians and officials, nobody can dare to stop them from these illegal constructions,” locals said.
They said some of the shopkeepers and locals located near the spring outlet at Dangerpora and Kralyar were filling it with clay to pave way for expansion of their shops and houses due to which it has shrunk from 120 feet to mere 10 feet now.
“This town was known for its fresh water bodies and springs, but now they have been turned into mere cesspools and many commercial establishments, toilets and kitchens have been established on them,” said Adil Khurshid.
He said the springs of Malakhnag, Gajinag, Harinag and others had lost their sheen as concrete structures had been raised nearby and the wastage, drainage and sewage flows into it. “The condition of the Nagbal springs located inside the CRPF camp and at Sherbagh is no different, thus disturbing its flora and fauna and also affecting the habitat of the fish.”
The Municipal Committee Islamabad has also been time and again warning of demolishing all the unauthorized constructions in the town, but to no avail, the residents added.
Residents here blame the authorities for the lackadaisical approach and accuse them of minting money from the encroachers for allowing the establishment of illegal structures on the water bodies and their banks. “If the authorities would act strictly, nobody would dare to raise the construction on the springs, rivers and streams. But they are more concerned of accumulating wealth and hence have no objection to grant permission to the people indulging in such acts,” said Sonia Amin, a resident.
She said if any local objects to the illegal construction by someone, he immediately justifies it by citing the example of fellow encroachers who have done the same.
Recollecting the memories when the water bodies of the town were gushing with fresh water, Ghulam Muhammad an elderly resident said, “Two decades back no one would have ever thought that the water bodies here known for its fresh water would be turned into commercial establishments and toilets would be constructed on them, but now it is a stark reality.”
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner, (DC), Islamabad (Anantnag), Kifayat Hussain Rizwi assured of looking into the matter and taking strict action against the encroachers.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 31 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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