Cherry picking efforts of the district administration on anti-encroachment drives remained under a big question mark
POONCH TODAY NEWS
POONCH: The issue of open encroachments on government lands and buildings and subsequently no action taken against the violators by the successive administrations remained in the news for years.
But the other day, an anti-encroachment drive was initiated in which a large number of shops that were already with the government agencies were demolished, and some affected people were given alternate shops. Some shops were built by the Army to settle ex-servicemen years ago, and a major portion of the area remained with the Revenue and Municipality. Although the maximum area was with government institutions, the administration tried to label the anti-encroachment drive a historic one without any logic. Locals said that at many places, people have encroached on government lands and buildings with the involvement of some officers who remained in important positions in the administration, but over the years, no such strong action has been taken yet against the influential encroachers or against those in the ruling party for their involvement in encroachment on government lands. On the renovation of Poonch Fort, funds in crores were misused, and no inquiry was ever conducted on the issue. Moreover, many commissions were formed to trace the original land of Poonch Fort, and shockingly, several commissions set up by the administration gave different reports by indulging in hand-in-glove activities, thereby making the real truth a scapegoat. A major portion of Poonch Fort land is still encroached upon, but the cherry-picking efforts of the administration left a big question mark on the mindset of the administration, as influential people were never touched over the years. Moreover, on the issue of hospital land encroachment and the red zone, no concrete action was taken as water bodies, irrigation canals, and roads were converted into full-fledged construction zones. A few years ago, a big anti-encroachment drive was initiated by the Poonch municipality in front of Poonch fort against a number of illegally constructed shops. In that drive, a huge scuffle took place between police and the encroachers, but in a sudden twist of events, police left the scene and the drive was stopped. That episode also raised a big question mark on the intentions of the administration, in which reportedly influential encroachers were spared. Moreover, no action was taken against the open capture of markets at different places. The main road has been encroached on at various places, but the civil administration never thought of the issue. Rather than addressing the important issues facing the public, civil administration was seen beating around the bush on useless matters. Locals said that they will support the administration if it shows its willingness to address all the public issues on priority. Will the administration address the real issues on the ground in the near future, or will they love to indulge in time-wasting activities? Only time will tell.