Encroachers occupy state land in Nowshehra, Admin silent, say locals

Srinagar: More than 15 kanals of state land have been under encroachment in Vecharnag area of Nowshera for the last many years forcing the residents of the area to write to the government for its retrieval.

Just five kilometers away from the Srinagar City, Nowshera is one of the old and notified residential areas not far from the famous Khushal Sar Lake.

After abrogation of article 370, Jammu and Kashmir administration made tough rules against land grabbers and retrieved state land from its encroachers. Many demolition drives were conducted in various districts of Jammu and Kashmir to free up the state land.

However, according to a query filed under the Right to Information Act (RTI) by the JKRTI movement, there is a list of around 75 encroachers who have constructed concrete structures on the state land in Nowshera area but the government is silent over the issue.

Residents as per the application written to the Srinagar administration, a copy of which lies with Free Press Kashmir, have time and again intimated the government about the encroachment and encroachers, however, as per the residents government has ignored their repeated calls.

“There are around 15 kanals of state land which had a cultivation of Poplar trees but this winter the encroachers cut down all the trees from the land and had fenced the land with tin sheets. They have even laid construction material on the land,” said one of the residents wishing anonymity.

He said that they have time and again informed concerned Tehsildar and higher officials about the encroachment.

Another resident said that adjacent to the state land is a common lane (Rah-e-aam) which has also been encroached which has created problems for the residents of the area.

“Many incidents of fire could not be stopped on time due to the narrow lane which resulted in huge damage to property. We are facing a lot of problems because much of the area of the lane has been also occupied by the encroachers,” he added.

“We have been writing to the Srinagar administration even before abrogation of article 370 but they have not taken any strict action against the encroachers which is why they are doing it again and again because they know that no one will hold them accountable for encroaching state land. Encroachment is happening under the nose of the government,” he added.

Tehsildar Eidgah, Moin Kakroo told Free Press Kashmir that they are already aware of the issue and have taken up the matter with higher-ups.

“We know that deforestation has happened on this state land. Last time when we visited the area we conducted some demolition drives. The 15 kanal patch of land has been under consideration for construction of a public park or marriage hall,” Kakroo said.

He also claimed to have served notices to the encroachers who are on their list and ‘within this month’ they will be able to retrieve the land from encroachers.


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