Legislator raises alarm, rues official inaction
A sitting legislator from famous tourist resort Pahalgam in south Kashmir has raised an alarm over constructions in violation of Master Plan and High Court orders by several government departments and rued inaction by concerned authorities.
MLA Pahalgam, Rafi Ahmad Mir, has shot a letter (PS/MLA-PGM-1310) on May 11 to the Commissioner Secretary to Government, Tourism Department, pointing towards constructions coming up in violation of Master Plan in Pahalgam. He has also highlighted failure of the authorities to take any action despite his reminders.
“Sir, I had written a letter (No-PS/MLA/PGM-1178 dated November 26, 2013) to the District Development Commissioner Anantnag through which I had highlighted some constructions coming up in violation of Master Plan Pahalgam. In response to this letter, the District Development Commissioner has passed orders to Chief Executive Officer Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA). But it seems that authorities are hell bent to allow such selective violations for the reasons best known to them,” the letter reads.
“For instance, a three-storey building is being constructed in lush green area which has been kept green area in the proposed Master Plan. Also the constructions mentioned at S. No. 1 and S. No. 2 of the enclosed letter are being raised by PHE department and PDA respectively.
Needless to mention that this is clear violation of the existing and proposed Master Plan and also violates orders of the Hon’ble Court. These constructions are contemptuous against the residents of Pahalgam who have always cooperated with the authorities. All these constructions have set a simmering discontent in the local residents,” it reads.
“I wonder if these violations are done by authorities and government departments itself what will be the fate of Pahalgam and what is the use of planning for Pahalgam? I draw your attention to intervene. I propose action against the erring officials who have taken advantage of election period and also required action be taken on ground,” the letter reads.
In his earlier letter to Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (Anantnag) on November 26 last year, the MLA had pointed towards violation of Master Plan.
“While going through the draft Master Plan of Pahalgam which is still an unapproved document, I have seen certain contradictions occurring at ground level in Pahalgam to this draft. There are many instances where court orders and also draft Master Plan are being violated,” Mir wrote to the DC.
“I am shocked to that these violations are more done by the authorities who are otherwise responsible to stop the same. The whole job has been left over to lowest rung officials, casual laborers and office clerks who are busy in making hay while sun shines. I as elected public representative of Pahalgam feel very sad as all this is happening under my nose,” the letter reads.
Mir accused the government of failing to implement the directions of High Court. “I have been raising this issue on the floor of Assembly and various House Committees but the government is silent over the issue,” Mir said.
Jammu and Kashmir High Court has banned constructions in Pahalgam and recently ordered the State Government to file status report on nearly 800 ‘illegal’ constructions along the banks of Lidder River in the hill resort.