Large number of residents of Channi Himmat Housing colony including residents of Ward No 50 and 51 Thursday staged a protest demonstration against the alleged allotment of commercial sites and conversion of ‘Thanger nullah in to commercial site’ by the J&K housing Board in grave violation of Jammu Master Plan.
The protest march led by prominent citizens of Channi Himmat housing colony started under the leadership of Raj Kumar, famous social worker of the area, and culminated near Cremation ground.
Senior residents including large number of women staged dharna against the alleged move by the corrupt officials of the J&K Housing board to extend undue advantage to their near and dear ones through back door allotment of commercial sites alongside Thanger nullah.
During their half an hour long protest demonstration several senior members of the Channi -Himmat Resident welfare Association raised the issue of illegal allotment of commercial sites in gross violation of the Master Plan and claimed it was a threat to the environment.
The residents alleged that encroaching and developing commercial sites along the river beds, water bodies and altering their course has proved disastrous in the state of Jammu and Kashmir hence J&K Housing baord should stop all such commercial activity on the green strip to save ecology of the colony.
Addressing a group of agitated residents of the area Raj Kumar said, the local residents in the area have been regularly meeting senior officials of the J&k Housing board to take up the issue of misuse of green strip of land but instead of listening to their pleas they went ahead and allegedly allotted commercial sites in clear violation of the rules.
Smelling a big scam behind the alleged allotment of commercial sites Raj Kumar said the same was done during the rule of Congress- National Conference govt and demanded a thorough probe in the matter from the BJP-PDP state govt.
He claimed the Minister in charge housing department may also have played key role in the alleged allotment in the election year and the murky land deals should be exposed before the masses.
Senior resident of the Channi Himmat Housing colony PL Kohli said in the past we fought against encroachment of Green belt and won the case in the larger interest of the public.
He said this time also the residents of the housing colony are geared up to fight the long battle against the nexus of corrupt officials of J&K Housing board.
He said they are aware of the fact the J&K Housing board is contemplating to convert the nullahs into commercial shops to be constructed on the 4 marla plot each.
Kohli said that if nullahs will be converted into the commercial buildings, there could be floods like the recent ones in Kashmir as no space will be left for the exit of logged water.
He said the idea of conversion was neither in the earlier plan of the Housing Board nor in the Master plan and all is going against the norms. He demanded from Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to personally look into the matter and deliver justice.
Referring to the high level meeting between the MLA Gandhi Nagar, Kavinder Gupta and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, some of the members said both the leaders have been apprised of the unplanned activities of the Housing board and appealed to the state govt to take cognizance of the peoples anger and direct the concerned authorities to stop the commercial activities on the bank of Thanger nallah.
The residents of the Housing colony also appealed to the state govt to direct the J&K Housing board authorities to develop the green belt on either side of the nullah to beautify the residential area.
The residents also appealed to the state govt to expedite work on the development of adequate parking space near cremation ground to avoid inconvenience to local people. Before dispersing the members also issued a threat to the state govt to take a decision without wasting much time else they would be forced to stage protest demonstrations on the bypass road to highlight their grievances.