J&K govt should take strict action against illegal constructions: Omar

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the state government should take strict action against all illegal constructions at various tourist resorts to preserve their beauty and promote tourism.

“On one hand our Chief Minister (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) says that we have to get tourists here, while on the other, those areas, where we have to take the tourists, are being destroyed slowly.

“If we continue to destroy the beauty of these areas, a day will come when no one will go to see those places. The present government will have to deal sternly with these and save the beauty of Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other places,” Omar.

The National Conference (NC) working president was talking to reporters after inaugurating the renovated headquarters of the party which was damaged during the floods last year and in a fire incident.

He said people have resorted to illegal constructions despite Court orders and it was “obvious” the administration was hand-in-glove with the violators.

“The High Court had granted permission for minor repairs but people erected plinths and huge buildings in the name of minor repairs. It is obvious that, at some level, the administration is involved in all this,” he said.

The NC working president said the state government must act against the violators without political considerations.

“There should be no political considerations. If there have been illegal constructions anywhere – even during my rule or before or after that – then there should be action against those illegal constructions,” he said.

He said the state witnessed the damage done by such constructions during the last year’s flood.

“We saw how much we suffered by these constructions during the floods of 2014. There was flood in Chennai and the reason for the flooding of Chennai is also these illegal constructions.

“We cannot hide behind the Courts. We hide behind the Courts and think that when there is a direction from the Courts, we will implement that. We should not wait for the Courts. This is not the job of the Courts, but ours. We have to leave behind politics and all other things, and take steps to save our cities and towns,” he said.

Earlier, Omar also felicitated those party workers who had donated their blood on the anniversary of the 2014 floods.

The NC working president had himself participated in the blood donation drive at the party headquarters in September

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