Srinagar, Dec 14: Despite massive public outcry, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed to restore public pathway at Syed Hyder Colony in Hyderpora locality here which has been encroached by unscrupulous persons.
Inhabitants of Syed Hyder Colony said in absence of regulation, unscrupulous persons have encroached upon a portion of Astan Kul and public pathway by filling it and constructing structures over it.
Locals further said that a team of SMC had arrived on the spot a few days ago but partially removed a portion of encroachment. “SMC team did it for a mere photo session. We are not satisfied with SMC’s action and demand full restoration of the public pathway. The 16-feet wide thoroughfare was clandestinely reduced to six-feet with incessant encroachments on the erstwhile irrigation canal and pathway running alongside it over the years on either side of the canal,” they added.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Aijaz Assad said that he would look into the matter. “I assure locals that action under law will be taken in case any violation has taken place,” he said.
Earlier, the SMC Enforcement Officer Suhail Ahmad said, “there are around seven or eight families which have constructed gates on the pathway for security reasons.” “This pathway is only used by them and nobody has raised any objection.”
“I will visit the site and remove encroachment to restore the public pathway,” Ahmad responded when this reporter asked him which provision of law authorizes few persons to seal public pathway for “security reasons.”
“I had directed officials to remove the encroachment and they have also shared photographs and videos of the legal action exercised by them with me. I can share those with you. I had no knowledge about the facts of this case. Now, I have understood it well. We will not allow any encroachment when it infringes the easement rights of other people,” he said.
“I will personally visit the site to take action under the law. In case the encroachment has come up again or has been removed partially, I will take strict action under the law. FIR can also be registered against violators in case of need,” he had said.
However, locals said that nothing has changed on the ground and the encroachment is still there. “Even as we have been crying for justice for long, none of the authorities including Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Its BOCA, Revenue Department seems serious to act under the law and remove the encroachment,” locals rued.