'Illegal structures' come up on agricultural land in Baramulla

Taking advantage of pandemic, some unscrupulous elements in Narwav area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have constructed commercial and non-commercial structures on agriculture land in gross violation of the rules set by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

The conversion of the agriculture land has happened on the Baramulla highway, close to the Department of Revenue’s office at Fatehgarh. The use of agriculture land for commercial activities in the area has raised questions over the functioning of the Revenue department.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has already banned the use of agriculture land for commercial activities and ordered strict action against the violators.

However, a general notion among the common people is that such illegal activities could not be carried out without taking the Revenue officials into confidence.

The locals said that such illegal constructions were being carried out by the violators by raising tin sheets and thereafter constructing structures within these tin sheets.

“The agriculture land on either side of the highway from Sheeri to Nowshera is rapidly being converted into commercial land. All this is happening under the nose of the Revenue department,” said Firdous Ahmad of SheeriBaramulla.

Locals here said that the activity of changing the agriculture land in to commercial land started after pandemic hit the region. They said when the administration was busy dealing with COVID19 situation, influential people in Sheeri area of Narwav started carrying illegal activities and none from the administration, especially the Department of Revenue opposed such activity.

The massive use of agriculture land into commercial land across Baramulla district has raised eyebrows over the inaction of the Revenue department, Baramulla and locals accuse the officials of being hand-in-glove with the violators.

“How can such structures emerge without the consent of the Revenue officials,” Nazir Ahmad, a resident of SheeriBaramulla said. “The violators can’t raise such structures if the Revenue officials are not in confidence. The unabated change of agriculture land is likely to diminish our agricultural resources further and in the process hit our endeavour of self sustenance.”

The illegal construction has mutilated the beautiful landscape of agriculture land on either side of the highway from Sheeri to Narwav.

Locals here also urge the Baramulla district administration to help stop conversion of agricultural land.