The countless encroachments on footpaths in Jammu City is a festering wound which has made the life of motorists and pedestrians a virtual hell and hibernation of JMC, Police and district administration post HC judgement shows their callous indifference to the writ of the High Court
JAMMU : It is a matter of immense displeasure coupled with concern that time to time directions of Jammu and Kashmir High Court are not being taken seriously by the concerned departments especially Jammu Municipal Corporation.
After the recent landmark judgement of the Division Bench of HC, the JK Global News has undertaken a random survey of JMC jurisdiction and the picture that emerges is horrible in itself.
At Green belt park in Gandhi Nagar, the presence of score of static kiosks opposite Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board is a glaring example of the malfunctioning of JMC, JKHB as well as police who are all indifferent to the nuisance created by these encroachers on the road in broad day light.
“The law of the land states that no one can be allowed to encroach upon public land and establish permanent/temporary structure on street, pathways, lane and alongside roadside but the opposite is visible in gross violation”, complaints Dr. Shubam Sharma, a resident of Green Belt park.
Pertinently, the DB of JKHC taking serious note of the increasing menace of encroachments of public roads and streets in Jammu and Kashmir especially in Jammu city has ordered the Government as well as JMC to forthwith to do away with all sorts of encroachments existing on public road, streets, pathways and lanes.
The court further observed that if any fresh encroachments take place, the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of that area shall be held responsible.
There is hardly any nook and cranny left in Channi Himmat, Sainik Colony, Trikuta Nagar, Panama Chowk, Gujjar Nagar, Narwal, Shastri Nagar, Nanak Nagar which is devoid of illegal encroachers of public roads thereby causing mountainous inconvenience for the passersby as well as Traffic Police department, said a social activist Rajeshwar Singh Jamwal.
As per insiders, these permanent encroachments for commercial activities on public roads etc exist as part of a well established nexus comprising Rehri Mafia, lower echelons officials of JMC and a section of police officials, alleged an officer of JMC preferring anonymity.
A look at the prevailing sorry state of affairs pertaining to free for all encroachments at City Chowk, Purani Mandi, Rani Park, Indira Chowk and Kanak Mandi clearly reveal that the Rehri mafia is calling the shots and having no fear of authorities as well as judiciary.
If insiders in JMC are to be believed the rate for establishing permanent kiosks which are nearly running into hundreds is Rs 5000 per month which is allegedly collected by the karkhyas of the blue eyed of JMC.
The judgement of the DB is a welcome step and delivered at a very appropriate time but the the ground reality is gruesome as the existing encroachments by kiosks owners are still intact in JMC limit and not even a single permanent/temporary encroachment has been erased, says Prof S K Bhalla.
In its judgement the Court made it clear that any violation or disobedience of its direction shall be construed as a deliberate and intentional attempt to lower down the authority of this Court and would amount to criminal contempt.
Ironically, the Rehri zone existing opposite GCW Gandhi Nagar is on the public utility area which is a part of bylane appended with NHW. It is black spot on the administrative acumen of terribly honest officers of JMC.
In light of the aforesaid judgement suo motto contempt proceedings may be initiated against the JMC and police authorities avers Prof. Bhalla, adding that the Mayor Jammu should also look into these encroachments which raise doubts about his pet slogan – ‘Imandaar Jammu and Shaandar Jammu’.