Despite the demolition drive in compliance with the court orders, scores of people have again started carrying out illegal constructions and riverside encroachments on the banks of river Jhelum. Sources alleged that illegal construction work is going on at full swing on the banks of river at Rampora Chattabal, Noorbagh, Palpora and other areas of the valley. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had stayed all the constructions on the banks of river Jhelum and its tributaries. “The illegal sheds and structures that had come along river Jehlum from Chattabal to Cement Bride were demolished but from past few weeks, some people have again started constructing sheds and other structures illegally while the irony is that the authorities are in slumber,” a delegation of people told KNS. They said that encroachments and illegal constructions by some greedy people have eroded the river embankment and the process according to them was the main cause of last year’s devastating flood in the city. “Over the years, embankment of river Jhelum was eroded by the activities of people who continue to live in sheds on the banks of river. Even after the floods, illegal sheds are being constructed on the embankments that too under the nose of authorities,” they said. Sources informed that illegal constructions are also on in full swing on the banks of the Jhelum that passes through Anantnag, Srinagar, Bandipora and Baramulla districts. The illegal structures are also on the banks of the Jhelum in Civil Lines and old Srinagar city near Cement Bridge, Chattabal, Habbakadal, Drab Yaar and other areas, raising a question mark on the role of the authorities that how these constructions were allowed. Pertinently, the High Court had ordered to demolish the constructions that are seen coming up on the river banks right from its source in Verinag in south Kashmir to Uri in North Kashmir. However sources said that one can notice the innumerable newly raised concrete structures on the sides of the Jhelum, while the government is sleeping over the issue. Sources said that during the past one decade, encroachment has taken place in a planned manner under the very nose of the administration.
2015 Kashmir Despatch