Baramulla: Panch encroaches village road, cultivates maize

A Panchayat member from this northern Kashmir district has encroached upon a village road and occupied community cowshed, constructed by Block Development Office.

The locals said a two km road stretch from Khadniyar to Barnhar-Gujjarpati was constructed under PMGSY, many years ago, following which around 60 families of Gujjar Patti were connected with the district headquarters.

The Panch, however blocked the road first and then cultivated maize on a portion of it, thus blocking the connectivity to the village, said Bashir Ahmad, a local.

The villagers said the Panch was not even allowing them to keep the livestock in the cowshed. The claims of the villagers have been corroborated by a report filed by a Revenue official after his visit to the area.

“The concerned Panch has blocked the road and grown maize over a portion of the road stretch,” reads the report filed by the official after his visit to the area on July 30.

The villagers said despite repeated representation to the authorities, nothing has been done to remove the encroachment.

Block Development Officer, Baramulla, Zeeshan Ahmad said the government property will not be allowed to encroach upon by anybody. “We will file a case against the encroacher,” said Ahmad.

He said the community cowshed was not personal property of anybody. “We have started an enquiry and if anyone is found to have taken illegal possession of the cowshed we will file case against him and remove the encroachment,” Ahmad said

The Panch admitted that he has encroached the road stretch to grow the maize. “The executing agency has not constructed the road as per survey, had they done so, I would not have been forced to grow the crop on the road,” the Panch said.

On Community cowshed, he said the department released funds for the construction. “I have constructed it in my own land since I was not told it is a community cowshed,” he said.