While the High Court has already sought explanation from the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the police over the illegal constructions within the prohibited areas in Srinagar, unabated construction is ongoing at Nalla Mar, Gill Sar, Anchar and Khushal Sar wetlands. But the authorities are not taking any action against the violators, locals said. “Several locals have approached the authorities concerned to look into the issue, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears as no action has been taken,” locals said. They said that if the authorities fail to curb the illegal constructions, then the city is vulnerable to natural disasters. With disaster management plans kept on papers only, illegal constructions are worrisome reminder of misplaced policies of the successive government, experts say. While the district administration has failed to completely rein in the violators, the people are also not cooperating with the authorities and show no concern to the environment while constructing residential and commercial complexes. R. K Razdan, a disaster management expert said, “The city itself is a disaster when it comes to construction of residential and commercial buildings. God forbid if big earthquake strikes the city in future, we cannot reach interior places to evacuate victims.” Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner, Showkat Zargar told KNS that nobody has approached them in this regard. “We don’t have any information regarding the same and until we will not get complaints we cannot take action. If the locals are willing to help Municipal Corporation in demolishing such illegal constructions then they should atleast come to us so that we will be able to demolish all those constructions,” Zargar said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch