Construction of ‘illegal’ hotel at Gogji Bagh | HC pulls up SMC for not filing up to mark compliance report

Construction of ‘illegal’ hotel at Gogji Bagh | HC pulls up SMC for not filing up to mark compliance report
High court of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar branch. [Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir]

Srinagar, Nov 30: The J&K and Ladakh High Court has pulled up authorities of Srinagar Municipal Corporation for not filing up to mark compliance report regarding the construction of a hotel allegedly coming up illegally at Gogji Bagh area here.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation against the construction, division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Muhammad Akram Chowdhary observed that the compliance report fortifies the fact the officers and the staff of the corporation are in the league” with the alleged violators.

Dismayed over the report, the bench said: “We are at pain to say that the status report filed on behalf of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation on 16.08.2021, is not up to the mark and it fortifies the fact as indicated in the order dated 05.10.2020, that the officers and the staff of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation are in league with the respondent No. 5 & 6 (alleged violators).

While counsel representing SMC sought three days’ time for filing a better compliance report in keeping with the earlier court order to clearly respond to all the shortcomings pointed out by the order, the court said the compliance report should be supported by the affidavit of the Commissioner SMC.

The Court asked the commissioner to indicate the action taken on the complaints received by the neighbors or the residents of the area regarding unauthorized construction being raised in the area.

The PIL filed by residents of Gogji Bagh here is alleging that the two persons are raising illegal construction in the residential area. They allege that though permission was taken for a Guest House but the construction was converted into a hotel with no proper parking or other facilities available.

While they contend that the hotel will certainly affect the privacy of the residents in the area, they further submit that against the notice issued for demolition of illegal construction, the alleged violators approached the Special Tribunal and status quo was ordered to be maintained by the Tribunal vide its order dated 12.12.2019.

Greater Kashmir
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