Encroachments on the river banks to be demolished by Nov 10

Srinagar, Oct 9: Thanks to the intervention of High Court, river Jhelum, the lifeline of Kashmir, whose beauty is marred by massive encroachments, will soon get a major facelift. Court’s Division b...

Srinagar, Oct 9: Thanks to the intervention of High Court, river Jhelum, the lifeline of Kashmir, whose beauty is marred by massive encroachments, will soon get a major facelift.
Court's Division bench comprising Chief Justice, Justice B A Khan and Justice Bashir A Kirmani has directed the Irrigation and Flood Control Department and Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) to remove all the structures, including sheds and Dongas on the riverbanks by November 10…
The court directed the CE of Irrigation and Flood Control and vice-chairperson of SDA to take immediate steps to allot available plots to the river dwellers and cash payment of Rs 45,000.
However, the court said commercial houseboats will be allowed to stay put till a decision is taken by the government to relocate them or consider their claims for compensation. But this, the court said, should be subject to condition that owners of the houseboats are not allowed to raise any kitchen or toilet facilities or any Donga either in the water or on the bund.
The court directed the Coordination Committees through Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Forest Department to accord necessary approval of transfer of forestland to SDA at Shalla Teng within 15 days to facilitate shifting of river dwellers.
The Jehlum beautification plan was launched by former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at a cost of Rs 25.55 crore last year.
According to the beautification plan, exquisite parquets, pastime resorts and other recreational facilities were to be established on the either side of the river that flows across the Valley.
Authorities identified 481 structures along the Jehlum banks from Shivpora to Chattabal here. Though, 189 structures were demolished, till August, this year, the project witnessed a roller coaster ride due to lack of coordination between departments and floods.
Government has already sanctioned Rs 6 crore for beautification of Jehlum bund, but despite passing of a year, its task force comprising Srinagar Municipal Corporation, SDA and Flood Control Department failed to remove encroachments and rehabilitate all the inhabitants.
In August, the court had expressed resentment over the slow pace of work in beautification of Jhelum and directed the concerned authorities to speed up the work.

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com