The audio calls based on the telephonic conversation of some elected corporators and their pimps regarding illegal transactions in lieu of some constrictions in the city should act as an eye opener for the administration.
The Housing and Urban Development Department needs to take cognizance of the matter and hand over the case to the crime branch. Even if the matter has been reportedly discussed with the police by none other than the City’s mayor as per his tweet on the subject, it needs to be seen how effectively and seriously will the investigating agency take this matter.
In the past also the SMC has always remained in the eye of the storm for its malpractices—be it the illegal appointments, withdrawal of EPF or GP Fund or for that matter the extortion in the name of deviations in the constructions across the Srinagar city.
It is no more a hidden reality now that a person who wants to build a house is asked to fulfill all the requisite criteria and despite fulfilling the same is compelled to pay an amount for the grant of building permission by freely available touts in the Corporation; while as anybody who wishes to have a commercial venture, no matter how many stories he or she wants to construct is welcomed by the officials of the corporation through their respective touts.
This situation has led to the mushroom growth of buildings across the Srinagar city and a haphazard construction prevalent all across its length and breadth. However, this trend is not new. It has been continuing in the SMC for decades.
In order to restore the sanctity of this important institution of democracy and governance, the government must order a high level probe into the functioning of this Corporation.