Unauthorized Constructions


The much-hyped policy on unauthorized constructions in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar and holy town of Katra is unlikely to be implemented within the stipulated time-frame as the Government has failed to file response before the High Court in a petition challenging certain provisions of the policy.As per the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Civic Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2014, the Government prepared a policy to deal with unauthorized constructions in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar and holy town of Katra after a delay of three years. The policy received the approval of the State Cabinet on April 28, 2017 but its notification was delayed for several months. Finally, the policy was notified vide SRO-391 dated September 20, 2017 to bring the illegal and un-authorized buildings/constructions and land use or building use conversions into planning framework to the extent possible and to facilitate the implementation of Master Plans In the notification, it was mentioned that the policy will be applicable for a period of one year-from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 for the local areas of Srinagar, Jammu and Katra excluding the areas coming under J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority.
There was inbuilt flaw in the notification as policy was given effect from April 1, 2017 despite the fact that SRO-391 explaining its provisions was issued on September 20, 2017 and this confusion prevailed not only at the level of public but also among the officers who were supposed to implement the much-hyped decision of the Government. However, despite this no seriousness was shown by the Empowered Committees headed by Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu and Deputy Commissioner of Reasi either to clear the confusion or to invite applications from the owners of unauthorized buildings/constructions for availing the benefit of the policy. The dilly-dallying approach in the implementation of the policy continued till December last year when a writ petition was filed in the High Court challenging certain provisions of the policy. It is pertinent to mention here that survey teams constituted for identifying, locating and categorizing the violations had reported 4131, 5500 and 58 violations of various types in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar and holy town of Katra respectively.

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