Srinagar: With authorities in slumber, unabated encroachment is taking place at Baba Demb area here.
Locals said that the area has been defaced by encroachment over past several years.“You can see encroachment at Baba demb, Brari Nambal lagoon, and its adjoining areas. Illegal dumping and filling of the lagoon and construction of structures in the area is not new. You can see how new shops have been fenced with tin sheets. If the government does not take strict steps, the area will be ruined,” said Altaf Ahmad, a local.
Scores of kiosks have come up in the area where locals and non-locals are putting up and doing commercial activities. The officials said that anti-encroachment drives are being carried out in routine against illegal dwellings, but locals say that on the ground, “nothing is visible.”
Last year, the Enforcement Wing of Lake Conservation & Management Authority (LCMA) launched a spontaneous demolition drive in Baba Demb. During the drive, many tin sheds and other wooden structures were demolished in the area. The area outside Brari Nambal locality falls under SMC jurisdiction and has also seen encroachment over the years. However, officials say that the anti-encroachment drives are being carried out routinely.
A source from the concerned department said that illegal construction has been going on over the years. He said that despite several demolition drives, several structures have come up.
“It starts with tin fencing, and then internally, the construction is carried out silently,” he added.
Environmentalists have warned that continuous encroachment puts pressure on the already deteriorated lagoon that falls in the Baba Demb vicinity.
An official from SMC said that Brari Nambal area comes under the jurisdiction of LCMA. They said the adjacent area under their jurisdiction is being looked into properly, and anti-encroachment drives are also carried out there repeatedly.
SMC commissioner Athar Aamir Khan said that they have been going tough on illegal construction and routinely carry anti-encroachment drives.
“I will check the locations, and if any illegal activities are going on, our teams will accordingly take necessary action,” Khan said.