Anantnag: The Building and Control Authority (BOCA) of Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has not held any meeting for the past one year due to which locals are struggling to even repair their damaged houses.
The last BOCA meeting was held on July 25 last year.
Since then, the twelfth meeting was scheduled thrice but postponed every-time for various reasons.
The delay is making the inhabitants of several villages, who want to repair their old and damaged houses, suffer.
"I have completed all formalities but am yet to get permission for repair and renovation of my house,” said one Abdul Gani Lone of Pahalgam.
Lone is living in an old, dilapidated muddy house with only a kitchen and one-room along with his family consisting of his wife, two elderly sons and a daughter.
He pleaded to the authorities to give him permission so that he could provide shelter to his family.
Lone is not the only one who is waiting for BOCA permission.
There are several poor families in dozens of villages falling under PDA who have not been able to reconstruct or even repair their decades-old houses.
Among they are residents from Pahalgam villages of Manzimpora, Laripora, Bradhaji, Renzpal, Ganeshbal, Sarabal, Mandilan, Frislan, Mamal, Batakote, GujraniBatakote, Yanar, Movera, Srechan, Langanbal, Veersaran, Lidroo, Ladi, Dehwatoo, Ganeshpora, Jaibal and Aamad Zoo.
“My house is 100-years-old and damaged beyond repair but I am not able to construct a new small house at the same place,” said Gulzar Ahmad Akhoon.
He said even during the last 11 years when the construction was completely banned following the High Court orders in Pahalgam, rich and influential managed to erect huge hotels and commercial structures.
“The poor people like us find it difficult to get permission to repair even our old houses,” Akhoon said.
He said many houses get damaged due to extreme weather conditions and snowfall every winter but they have to go through a lot of hassles to repair them.
Apart from that, there are hundreds of beneficiaries of the IndraAwasYojna (IAY) scheme who are waiting for No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the concerned municipality and the Rural Development Department.
“Funds under IAY were sanctioned in my favour long back and I have got permission from BOCA too, but the municipal authorities are not allowing me to construct a shelter,” said one HabibullahGanai seeking the intervention of higher authorities.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag is the chairman of BOCA while Chief Executive Officer PDA is its member secretary.
The other members include Chief Town Planner (CTP) Kashmir; Divisional Head Ecology and Environment department; Superintendent Engineer R&B circle Annatnag; Divisonal Forest Officer (DFO) Lidder Forest Division Bijbehara and Executive Engineer PDA who is the inspecting officer of BOCA.
CEO PDA, MasaratHashim, who recently took over the charge, assured that the meeting would be held soon.