JK TO FIX 'PENALTIES' ON ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTIONS

Greater Kashmir

Under the Bill, the Jammu and Kashmir Government had to prepare a roadmap for dealing with unauthorized structures, till March 31, 2015.

The Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to come up with a policy on illegal constructions even as the Jammu and Kashmir Civic Laws (Special Provisions) Bill 2014—imposing a one-year moratorium on sealing and demolition of such structures—nears its end.

Under the Bill, the Jammu and Kashmir Government had to prepare a roadmap for dealing with unauthorized structures, till March 31, 2015. 

Following passage of the Bill by the State legislature in March 2014, all notices issued by authorities for initiating action against unauthorized constructions in cities of Srinagar , Jammu and Katra were suspended till March 31, 2015. The government had to come up with the policy till this date, failing which the notices would come into effect again from April 1, 2015.

Informed sources told Greater Kashmir that following Governor NN Vohra’s nod to the Bill, the State’s Housing and Urban Development Department had set up three expert committees to come up with recommendations on the issue.

The committee for Srinagar city was headed by Chief Town Planner Kashmir, Iftikhar Hakeem while two other panels for Jammu and Katra were headed by Chief Architect, Architect Organization Jammu and Kashmir V K Pant and Chief Town Planner Jammu Joginder Singh, respectively.

Secretary Housing & Urban Development Department Satish Nehru told Greater Kashmir that two expert committees have submitted their report while report of the third one is awaited.

“The panels set-up for Jammu and Katra have submitted their recommendations but the report of expert panel for Srinagar is awaited. We expect it will be submitted within one or two days,” he said.

He said the department will evaluate all the three documents to come up with a uniform policy.

“The policy will be finalized within 20 to 30 days as we have done the ground work,” he said, adding the policy would need a cabinet approval.

He said penalty could be imposed on regularizing violations but violations of severe nature won’t be entertained.