HC tells govt not to register 107 structures constructed illegally
Srinagar, June 05: More than 100 buildings including hotels, guest house and commercial establishments constructed “illegally” in the city under the nose of the government shall face the consequences of “criminal action”, the J&K High Court has said.
The High Court on Tuesday directed the government not to register the 107 structures mostly commercial buildings constructed “illegally” in the summer capital of the state.
The direction followed an information by advocate Shafaqat Nazir representing J&K Peoples Forum, a nongovernmental organization saying that 107 structures have been illegally constructed in the city under the physical presence of Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Lakes and Water Ways Development Authority (LWDA).
Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura issued a notice to the government and directed it to file its objection within a month to the public interest petition by the NGO.
Advocate Nazir referred to an August 04, 2017 communication he claimed to have been dispatched by additional secretary the Department of Tourism to director of the department.
The officer he said has asked the director to categorize the 107 cases of the “illegal” constructions who have sought for registration of their “illegal” structures and to permit them fulfill the formalities and registration by the end of August.
“In view of the submissions, it is directed that till next date of hearing, the construction referred to in the writ petition shall not be registered by the respondents,” the division bench of the court said.
The lawyer referred to his documents on the matter and said “almost all these structures have been raised without any building permissions and land ownership certificates”.
“The violators now seek registration of these structures as hotels and guest houses. The state, in violation of norms prescribed under SRO 198 and subsequent Government order issued under J&K Tourist Trade Act as amended in 2011, is bent upon granting registration to these violators,” he added.
He said all the 107 structures have come up in no construction zones in and around river Jhelum and in Nishat area under the physical presence of LAWDA, the overseer of fast dying city lakes like Dal, Ngeen and other water bodies of Kashmir.
The lawyer told the court that grant of registration for running of hotels, guest houses, restaurants etc owes its origin under the Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Trade Act as amended in 2011.
“The check list among other things envisages that any person seeking registration of hotels, guest houses must produce ownership papers and lease papers of the land upon which the structure has been constructed as also the building permission of the concerned Regulatory Authority having been granted for such constructions,” the petitioner NGO said.
It pleaded the court to direct the Tourism Department not to grant registration in relaxation of any norm prescribed under law.