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KNZ NEWS DESK 

Govt concealing names of influential politicians’

180 kanals land retrieved at Gulmarg: Govt

JAMMU, Jan 18: Throwing all norms and rules to wind, a massive 111 cases of land encroachments and violations of Master Plan have taken place at famous tourist resorts of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg in Kashmir.
In most of the cases of violations, it has been alleged by the ruling coalition members that highly influential politicians and bureaucrats were also involved and the Government was trying to conceal their names. They cornered the Minister of State incharge Tourism and demanded that their names should be exposed.

The Government, however, claimed that nearly 180 kanals of land has been retrieved from encroachers at famous tourist destination Gulmarg while nobody, whosoever is influential, will be spared while launching special drives.

While intervening during the question of PDP member Zaffar Iqbal Manhas with regard to violations at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg in the Upper House today, Minister for Revenue Abdul Rehman Veeri said that J&K High Court is also monitoring such cases of violations and moreover, nobody will be spared even if he is influential. He said in Pahalgam as per Government policy, earlier people had developed paying guest houses and some of them with the passage of time converted into small hotels or restaurants etc. But there is no serious violation at Pahalgam as such.

Zaffar Manhas asked whether rules were different at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg? Whether influential people were above rules ? It is strange that even eight months of holding meeting under the Chief Minister, no action has been taken by the Government against the violations and encroachments at Sonamarg. He mentioned that some influential people are involvement in land grabbing and violations at these places but the Government provided list of other poor or middle class people concealing names of big fish.

Sofi Yousuf from BJP and Ghulam Nabi Monga from Congress sought details about influential politicians and former bureaucrats involved in the land encroachment at Gulmarg, Pahalagam and Sonamarg and demanded that all the names be exposed. They also asked why the Government was concealing the facts.

Minister of State for Tourism, Priya Sethi while responding to the main question claimed that Government has tried to give full reply as such no facts have been concealed.

Sethi claimed that some violations have taken place over the years at Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam. She said 52 such cases at Sonamarg, 44 at Gulmarg and 15 at Pahalgam have been reported. Pahalgam Development Authority has demolished 15 illegal structures raised in violation of Master Plan. It also lodged 15 FIRs against these violators and eight of them have been booked under law.

She further maintained that Gulmarg
Development Authority has taken action against 44 violators and has also recovered 179.19 kanals of land from the encroachers. Out of the total, 98 kanals of land has been retrieved from the possession of Umer Khleel Nodous c/o Nadous Hotel Srinagar, 2 kanals 01 marla from Qazi Nizam Ahmed C/o Hout on OC Road, one kanal 2 marla from Mansoor Ahmed C/o Falcon Hut, one kanal 14 marla from Rashid Shaw C/o Hotel Shaw Inn, 6 kanals 5 marla from Indo Kashmir Carpets Factory, Sgr; 6 kanal 8 marla from Wazir Hiralal from Srinagar, 2 kanals 10 marlas from Shalimar Carpets Sgr, 2 kanal 7 marla from Abdul Rehman, son of Abdul Khaliq of Sgr, 7 kanal 6 marlas from M/S Enar Smith C/o Hotel Pine Spring, 3 kanal 7 marla from Imtiaz Ahmed of Hotel Hill Top, 2 kanal 10 marla from Dinga Singh of Diathene Hut and 4 kanals each of Vidya Parkash of Srinagar, N D Radha Krishan, Pt Lachman Joo Tikoo, Pran Nath, Pt Kishen Bal and Wazir Mohan Krishan of Gandhinagar Jammu besides others.
In response to another question, the Minister said that 52 violation shave been reported at Sonamarg. The matter was discussed in the 7th meeting of Sonamarg Development Authority held under the chairpersonship of Chief Minister on May 12, 2017. Tourism department was asked to take the cognizance and its officers are examining the mater. The Government admitted that people have violated BOCA norms and encroached upon the Government land which was not allotted to them.

Some of the violators at Sonamarg included- Ghulam Ahmed Magray, Abdul Rashid Lone, Ghulam Qadir Akhoon, Bashir Ahmed Sofi, Ajaz Ahmed Wani, Hilal Ahmed Shah, Mohd Amin Bhat, Rouf Ahmed Beigh, Irshad Khan. Mohd Sultan Bhat, Ali Mohd Khan, Sheikh Gulam Rasool Mohd Ashraf Wani, Ghulam Mohd Lone and Abdul Majid Mir.

PDP member Yasir Reshi alleged that Government was not serious over this important issue and the facts were being concealed.