Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Violating the norms : If government is tough against private entities, it has to be tougher against its own agencies

Greater Kashmir: Srinagar: Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
The construction of a building on a land alleged annexed in violation to the norms, by the tourism department at Pampore has shocked the people. An RTI reply has brought shocking facts to the fore. The department of tourism is shown as having occupied the government land measuring two kanals approximately near Hooen Mazar, Kadalbal Pampore under survey No 1733.
The irony is that the department in violation of set norms has started constructing a cafeteria on the illegally annexed land despite knowing that the land falls in no-construction zone. The locals resented to the entire matter, but the tourism authorities did not heed the public anger. The locals then filed an RTI before the Deputy Commissioner Pulwama seeking a copy of allotment order (if any) of the said land to tourism department.
The cabinet order (if at all it was ever issued) paving way for such transfer was also sought. The Deputy Commissioner forwarded the application to the concerned tehsildar. He replied vide communication No: TP-OQ/356-57 dated 2/7/2018 saying, “No Government order is available and no compensation has been received from the tourism department.”
The tehsildar further said that the former Deputy Commissioner Pulwama issued directions for the construction of the tourist cafeteria. The tehsildar’s reply reflects how brazenly government departments ignore rules. First land is annexed in violation of the norms, and secondly a building is constructed on the land without seeking permission of the concerned authorities. And, how the departments supposed to keep an eye on land grab and illegal constructions gave Tourism Department a go ahead?
The government has to act now to convey a strong message to the land grabbers. If no action is taken, the `war against land grabbers’ will stand defeated. This is not the first time when land has been annexed at the aforementioned place. Earlier a private entity grabbed a piece of prime government land but the authorities took swift action and prevented the grab. If government is tough against private entities, it has to be tougher against its own agencies.