Provisions of Municipal Act trampled by MC Doda

Provisions of Municipal Act trampled by MC Doda

FARID AHMED ZARGAR
DODA: Throwing all rules and regulations to wind, Municipal Council (MC) Doda is allowing private building constructions without proper permissions as required under the Municipal Act. Unauthorized constructions within the municipal limits of a congested town like Doda are adding to the varied problems of the residents. Obviously, concerned officials in the civic body are the only beneficiaries of the unabated private building construction activities in the town.
The ignoble act of the officials of the MC came to fore when in reply to an RTI application wherein it was asked from the MC to provide among other details the copies of building permissions granted to the private individuals during the years 2019-20,2020-21, the MC vide its endorsement letter No MC/D/21/1768 dated 21.12.2021 provided copies of permissions in respect of only five buildings. Amazingly four of the five permissions have been granted in favour of residents of a particular ward while the fifth permission is for another ward. It is pertinent to mention here that MC Doda has 17 wards. Private constructions have been raised in almost all the 17 wards of the MC.
In a part of ward No 09 as many as six private buildings came up during 2021 but none of them have been issued the permissions till December last year. With an average of three private constructions in a ward a minimum 102 building may have come up during the last two years.
The MC does not ask for the necessary No Objection Certificates from the concerned departments providing the basic amenities such as electricity and drinking water. Consequent upon the opaque working of MC officials, frequent disruptions in the supply of water and power is being faced by the residents of the town. The drainage system in the town has also come under tremendous pressure by the unplanned and unauthorised constructions.
The Khilaf Warzi Inspector together with a daily wager is said to be directly involved in allowing unauthorised constructions. Sources in the MC Doda reveal that the practice of turning a blind eye to the building constructions has been going on for years providing a sources of illegal income for the concerned officials.
When Greater Jammu took up the issue of unauthorized constructions in the town, the Executive Officer(EO)wanted this scribe to submit an application so that action is initiated against the violators. The suggestion of the EO in this regard is yet another instance of discourtesy and unprofessionalism.
“ Municipality Council Doda has become a den of corruption,” said Ishtiaq Dev, a social activist. “ While govt departments have since adopted e-tendering mode, MC Doda allots works through manual tendering. The allotment of Lorry Adda over the past three years needs to be probed to bring out the irregularities committed by the MC officials,” he said. (To be concluded)