In Kashmir, Illegal Buildings Owned By Influential People Miss SMC’s Sealing Axe

In Kashmir, Illegal Buildings Owned By Influential People Miss SMC’s Sealing Axe

14 November 2013
Authint Mail
Neyaz Elahi

Srinagar: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has come under sharp criticism for ‘deliberate’ delay in sealing Landmark Shopping Complex owned by ‘influential people’ in Srinagar city. While the corporation has sealed more than 40 residential buildings which were converted into commercial establishments in Srinagar following court orders, it has given no explanation for delaying the sealing of Landmark Shopping Complex in Karan Nagar locality. The complex houses outlets of two leading bakery manufacturers, a skin care clinic, a salon and Apple’s only service centre in Kashmir, besides some food and retails outlets. The corporation was scheduled to seal the building on November 2 after its owner failed to give a satisfactory reply to a show-cause notice issued under section 8 of J&K Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 for converting a residential building into a commercial establishment. The SMC officials, due to reasons best known to them, delayed the sealing process which gave the proprietors of the complex ample time to approach the Supreme Court of India for interim relief which permitted them to file a special leave petition,” Srinagar based CNS news agency reported. “For conversion of residential house into a commercial structure in violation of the Master Plan in vogue, a show-cause notice was issued against you (proprietors) vide number SMC-Enf-16063-16072 dated 5-10-2013 for sealing of the said structure. The reply submitted by you in response to the notice was not satisfactory, hence recommended for sealing,” the SMC order duly signed by SMC commissioner Dr GN Qasba noted. Dr Qasba could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts. The proprietors of the complex have succeeded in putting the sealing order of the SMC in abeyance through a Supreme Court order. “Till final decision is taken in the proposed application filed by the plaintiff (proprietor of Landmark Complex), the order of sealing dated 2nd November 2013 shall be kept in abeyance,” the SC observed.