Abandoned Pampore court complex turns into a drug den

A view of abandoned court complex at Pampore. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
A view of abandoned court complex at Pampore. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Suhail Bhat
PAMPORE, July 19: The abandoned building of Munsif Court complex Pampore in South Kashmir has become an eyesore for the residents as the place is frequented by drug addicts these days.
The building was abandoned by the administration after being hit by the devastating floods in 2014 and lack of monitoring has made it a favorite haunt of drug addicts.
The building is adjacent to a Government Girl’s School and poses a threat to the students. “The drug addicts have made it their haunt. No one is monitoring the building,” Abdul Hameed, a resident said, adding that the administration was doing nothing to resolve the issue.
In 2012 the new facility was constructed by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Corporation Company with an estimated cost of Rs 2.40 crores. However, the building was hit by floods and left unattended after one year.
Following the floods the court was shifted back to the old building which is cramped and lacks basic facilities like parking, accommodation etc. “It is close to the highway and there are always traffic jams outside the court which discourages us to do our work properly,” said a lawyer.
Lawyers said that new building was constructed in a flood-prone area and on part of playground land which makes it prone to dangers. “We have proposed that building be constructed near fire service, but our demand was never heard,” said lawyers.
“During the floods not only infrastructure was damaged, but vital documents were lost”, said lawyers.
They said that they have repeatedly raised the issue of renovation with concerned officials, but no one is paying heed to their demands. “We are operating from a rented building for the past four years. Not only lawyers but litigators are facing immense stress due to lack of space,” he said, adding that administration is delaying the restoration “due to political reasons”.
Ashiq Ahmad, Executive Engineer R&B Pulwama said that they have estimated a renovation cost and await approval of the department concerned. “We are yet to receive the approval,” he said.
Asked why did it take them four years to get approval, he said that they were asked to resend the estimate after one year, “Sessions Judge asked to submit a computerized copy which is countersigned by the Chief Engineer,” he said.
Tehsildar Pampore, Ishtiyaq Mohidin, when contacted said he would look into the issue and discuss it with the local police.