JAMMU: There is mushrooming growth of illegal colonies in and around Jammu City where the private players employing attractive business maneuvers are entrapping gullible citizens by offering residential and commercial plots on land carved out through illegal means in violation of Land use Act 2132.
This all merrily going on as the agencies of Housing and Urban Development Department, Revenue, Town Planning, Rural Development Department and recently formed toothless Real Estate Regulatory Authority have miserably failed to check these upcoming illegal colonies resulting in unbearable burden on existing infrastructure like water, electricity besides playing havoc with identified green patches.
Sharing list of illegal colonies, the sources in Housing and Urban Development (HUDD) said “It’s strange to see that colonizers in association with land grabbers in broad day light razed mounds of hills with impunity to create vast plateau for illegal colonies and openly engage in registration of plots but none from the district administration, Jammu Development Authority and Jammu Municipal Corporation ever dared to initiate legal action against them.” Kya Yeh Andar Ka Mamla Hei, further quipped sources.
The list of illegal colonies currently being developed in Jammu District includes 05 (Kot Bhalwal, Seeri), 17 (Gharota), 2 (Birpur), 4 (Bishnah), 7 (Thatar), 3 (Chowadhi), 3 (Sunjawan), 1 (Phallian Mandal) and 1 in Sainik Colony extension namely Shiva enclave). Except Thattar and Shiva enclave (Sainik Colony) all these colonies exists in JDA jurisdiction.
“Prior to embarking on developing these colonies none of the colonizers/land developers have sought permission and housing projects in these illegal colonies are not in consonance with guidelines laid down in the Jammu Master Plan 2032” reveals sources.
Notably, the Sub Section 3 of Section 13 of J&K Development Act, 1970 clearly states “No person or entity, whether private or public, including a department of the Government or any authority, shall undertake the implementation of any street or layout plan, in any form, in the local area outside the limits of a Municipal Corporation without the prior permission of the Development Authority”
Discreet pin drop silence of authorities over illegal colonies which are freshly carved out on such a large scale appears to be a ‘Big Khella’ of corruption prospering due to colonizers-officers nexus under the nose of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha led administration, said an officer of Revenue Department preferring anonymity.
“The LG should intervene and handover the identification of illegal colonies to Anti Corruption Bureau and CID to fix the responsibility on officers for turning Nelson eye towards the mushrooming growth of illegal colonies in Jammu district” added a former Vice-Chairman of JDA preferring anonymity. “Illegal colonies always develop by means of hefty deals”, he added.
Citing reference of a colonizer who brags of running a leading newspaper having miniscule circulation of 500 copies, the sources in Revenue said “He managed to establish an illegal colony measuring 120 kanals in Chowadhi area by gifting vast plots free of cost to some high and mighty in the administration, police and political system.
This is the most practiced modus operandi used by the private players in developing illegal colonies; he added.
Interestingly, despite aware about these upcoming illegal colonies which are visible to everyone, authorities have so far neither initiate any legal action against the developers nor apprised the revenue department to stop registration of plots in upcoming illegal colonies.
Not a single FIR has been registered by the concerned agencies of HUDD against the developers of these freshly developed illegal colonies.
The insiders in Revenue and HUDD revealed that the field officers of concerned department are aware about these illegal colonies but till date no official dossiers were ever submitted by them for consideration of higher authorities.
“These colonies are still at initial stage of development and the government should stop them from coming as these puts pressure on existing infrastructure and adds miseries to the existing housing units of surrounding areas”, avers a senior officer of JDA wishing anonymity.
When contacted, Vice Chairman JDA, Pankaj Magotra said “We are preparing list of illegal colonies in our jurisdiction and indeed action will be initiated against them as per laid down norms”.
(To be continued)