‘SMC not allowing flood victims to construct houses’

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

Accusing Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) of facilitating the rampant construction of malls and other commercial buildings for petty gains, the residents of Jawahar Nagar, Ikhraj Pora and Raj Bagh Friday said that due to callous attitude of SMC, the people whose houses were damaged or collapsed in last year’s floods are finding it hard to get building permissions.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, “Intizamia Committee” Masjid Abu Bakar (RA) Jamia Hanfia said that the tall claims made by SMC after devastating deluge that flood-hit people will get building permission in 3 days have proved a hoax.

They said, instead of providing succour to the flood hit people, SMC is busy in permitting influential and wealthy people to construct shopping malls and complexes in residential areas like Jawahar Nagar.

“We hold SMC exclusively responsible for converting residential area like Jawahar Nagar into a commercial one. Flood hit people are forced to wait for the building permission. We are not allowed to construct three storey building despite the fact that we have secured hefty loans from Jammu and Kashmir Bank after floods devastated our residential structures,” Committee President Ghulam Muhammad told reporters adding that flood-hit people were perplexed to see the construction mafia getting permission from Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

 “The houses of flood hit people of Jawahar Nagar, Ikhraj Pora and Raj Bagh have severely been damaged in floods and they are planning to reconstruct them but SMC is unwilling to give them permission,” he said.

The Committee president said that the government had announced a policy for “reconstruction/repairs of those houses which have got affected during the recent floods in the state.”

As per Government order issued by the Commissioner Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) vide No 265 of 2014 dated October 8, 2014 , “the competent authorities in SMC, SDA, LAWDA, had been authorized to grant permissions within a period of three days, in favour of the affected owners. However, SMC did not take that order seriously and continued to make people suffer.”

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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