Illegal constructions galore at Sonawari, authorities in slumber

Sajad Gul/Sonawari
December 2, 2016 STATE 280 Views

Land sharks have a field day as government turns blind eye to the illegal constructions at Sonawari belt in north Kashmir. The land grabbers have fenced the area and continue to illegally fill the marshy land with soil and are selling the same land for lakhs of rupees.
Locals say the government is deliberately overlooking the matter as most of these encroachers have political affiliation. The nexus between such people and officials in revenue department have left the locals aghast.
As per the reports, the illegal constructions have mainly been carried out in the villages at Hajin, Shahgund, Madvan, Vijpora, Mukdamyari, Banyari, Hakabara, Sumbal, Inderkote, Rakh­ Paribal, Asham, Naidkhai, Kanyari, Khumina, Markundal, Gundjehangir and chandeergeera.
What is even shocking is that the illegal constructions continue right next to the Tehsil office, Sumbal which sees the rush of important officials such Tehsildar, Sub Division Magistrate.
“Government is doing nothing to prevent the encroachment,” exasperated Mohammad Sabir, a local of Shahgund area, who said that he along with other residents had approached the higher authorities but to no avail.
While echoing similar concerns, Ishfaq Ahanger said added, “These encroachers have political backing and that’s why no official dares touch them.” He further added that these encroachers have even begun to chip on the local playgrounds in the Naidkhai area.
Ishfaq a local boy who loves to play cricket says that the playground in his area has been snatched by these blue-eyed encroachers. He asks, “Where i can play now?
Faisal Dar, a jogger laments, “people from all age groups would jog in that playground which has been now been left in a bad shape by these encroachers. I pity these people who have no respect for laws.”
While talking to a revenue official about government inaction against these land grabbers, he attributed the rise in illegal constructions with the ongoing 4-month strike.
He added, “In such a disturbing situation, it is very difficult for us to visit the areas and to demolish the structure.”
Repeated attempts of contacting Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Sajad Hussain did not yield any result.

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