HC questions Govt over grant of permission to high rise building on Jhelum

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 17: High Court today recorded that since it is custodian of the River Jhelum and asked as to how the authorities have granted permission of raising construction on the banks of river near Abdullah Bridge at Rajbagh without intimating the court.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta expressed its displeasure over the act of authorities on the issue and sought explanation from the authorities as to how and in what circumstances permission for raising building in question has been granted to the owner.
Court recorded that prima facie from the pleadings of the case the permission has been obtained by builder in violation of the law and granted fraudulently.
Court directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to file an affidavit indicating there in the ownerships of the land on which the construction is coming up from 1947 along with revenue records as also the status of the land in question after the flooding of River Jhelum in September 2014 detailing therein what happened to the land and extent to which it was flooded in the occurrence.
Court also added that in case Divisional Commissioner Kashmir requires any assistance or information from any other authority, he shall seek the same from the concerned departments who shall cooperate with him and forthwith make available relevant information. “Such affidavit shall be positively filed before the next date of hearing”, reads the order.
Pollution Control Board has been directed to file an affidavit with regard to the permission granted by it to owner of the structure in question regarding discharge of sewage and effluents from any STP into the River Jhelum. “The copies of the permission granted to the owner and builder be placed on record before the next date of hearing”, court directed.
Inspector General of Police, Traffic has been directed to inform the court as to the permission granted by it to raise a commercial structure at the spot in question and the plan in place for management of the burden on the traffic which will result due to coming up and operationalization of this commercial structure at the site in question.
“Divisional Commissioner Kashmir shall conduct an inquiry and place before us the permission sought to the Inland Waterway Authority of India before the next date of hearing”, DB directed.
Likewise Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Revenue Department and Department of Irrigation and Flood Control have been directed to place their affidavits before the court mentioning therein the permission granted to construction of a multi storeyed building which is barely about 10 to 15 feet from the banks of the River Jhelum.
“These authorities shall place before this court, details of the permissions which have been granted by it to construction of similar structures along the banks of the River Jhelum”, reads the order.
Government counsel has been asked to place all those court orders before the bench in a tabulation form whereby court prohibited or permitted constructions in or around the flood plains, flood channels and the River Jhelum.
Till the matter is considered, DB directed that no construction, renovation or completion at all of any kind shall be carried out on the building in question. Court directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to ensure the direction is complied with.
These observations and directions have been made by the court after attention drawn towards a constructions adjacent to the Abdullah Bridge in Rajbagh area of Srinagar.
Court noticed that despite the concern in the matter, a huge multi storied construction is going on with impunity on the site which is surrounded by main roads leading from Abdullah Bridge towards Convent School on two sides.