Taking undue advantage of prevailing law and order situation in Kashmir, land mafia is having a field day to encroach upon Dal lake.
Reports said that from past few days some, people have encroached various portions of Dal Lake at Jogilankar, Rainawari and adjacent areas.
Illegal structures are also coming up at Brein, Nishat, Shalimar and its adjacent areas. "Encroachers are also constructing houses, shops and walls on the encroached land. Land filling of the lake is also going on at various places," they said.
The ongoing encroachment and construction of illegal structures is going unnoticed as authorities are unable to attend duties due to restrictions and shutdown.
Reports said land mafia has encroached upon land at Sangeen Darwaza area of Kathidarwaza.
"The land under falling under Khasra number 515 on right side of Kathidarwaza Sangeen Darwaza is being encroached. General Bagh measures 76 kanals and as per revenue records, the land was in possession of Agriculture department till 1990. It was actually an apple orchard," said Dr Mushtaq, Chairman Civil Society Kathidarwaza.
He said in 1992, after devastating fire at Kawadara, authorities decided to the rehabilitate fire victims on some portion of the General Bagh and provided five marlas of land to each victim.
"However, some fire victims opted for reconstruction of their residential houses at Kawdara again and refused to take land at General Bagh as rehabilitation from government," he said quoting official documents.
"From 1993 to 1994, about 16 kanals of land were allotted to fire victims, some of the victims opted for reconstruction of houses at own places. In 2002, land mafia became active and some revenue officials also facilitated encroachment and sale of this land," Dr Mushtaq said.
The authorities had registered a case in this regard in police station Rainawari vide FIR number 33/2007 while notice was served to the encroachers to vacate the state land.
Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed all Deputy Commissioners to ensure no construction is raised on water bodies within their territorial jurisdiction.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the bench on June 15, this year, had made it clear that in case of any breach of court orders, the authorities concerned will be liable for punishment for committing the contempt of court.
Vice Chairman LAWDA Sarmad Hafeez said he has directed officials to prevent illegal constructions.
"Yes, it is true that some people take undue advantage of situation and construct illegal structures or try to encroach upon the land. We have made our enforcement teams active in the field and directed them to demolish any structure coming up illegally," he added.