Stop eviction drive, rehabilitate Jhelum dwellers first: Altaf Bukhari

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President, Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said the unplanned eviction drive launched by the administration against river Jhelum dwellers was contrary to law and the government should ensure a proper rehabilitation plan for the families likely to be displaced.

In a statement, Bukhari said the administration has blindly served notices to the families residing alongside the bank of Jhelum from Seerbagh-Sempora downstream of Pampore upto Takenwari-Panzinara near Shadipora Sumbal before conducting a detailed survey including identification of alternate sites for their proper rehabilitation.

“This type of forced eviction of Jhelum dwellers would be against law and totally unacceptable to the affected families especially those living within the municipal limits of Srinagar city who are completely landless. The administration must immediately stop harassing these poor and hapless families and draw a proper rehabilitation plan in consultation with all the stakeholders,” he demanded.

Bukhari said the right to housing was guaranteed under law and any hasty and unlawful action by the administration shall leave thousands of families including old and ailing besides the children and women, homeless.

“While freeing the banks of Jhelum from any unwanted structures is paramount in view of the flood threats but at the same time you cannot expose thousands of poor families to the vagaries of weather without having a blueprint for their suitable rehabilitation,” Bukhari remarked.