Kashmir court orders takeover of farmhouse at Dachigam Park


Srinagar : In a significant development, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday ordered the state government to take over the farmhouse coming up outside the Dachigam National Park here.

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The state high court had earlier directed the state government to produce any construction permission, if any, given to the farmhouse owners.

As State ­Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri Tuesday submitted a report which said that no permission had been given by authorities concerned for the construction of the farmhouse, Acting Chief Justice Virender Singh ordered that its construction should be stopped immediately.

He directed the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to take custody of the farmhouse along with two other structures inside it.

The lawyer for the respondents claimed that these constructions did not fall under the green belt and the respondents themselves had mentioned in the copy that the structures were built before 1999 when the LAWDA was not set up.

LAWDA vice chairman Irfan Yasin also admitted that no permission regarding the construction had been given and showed to the court downloaded Google images of the area, which made clear that all the buildings had come up in the last few years.

Criticising the silence of LAWDA over these years, Justice Virender Singh remarked: “The LAWDA was wearing goggles instead of spectacles over these years.”

Sources in the LAWDA said the authority would be taking over the possession of the farmhouse as soon as it gets a copy of the court order.

Tuesday’s high court direction assumes significance in the light of the fact that a similar direction could now follow for many other structures in the area constructed close to the Dachigam National Park.