Srinagar , 19 Jan: Zabarwan Colony Wazbagh, Hyderpora-NH Bypass link road was today demolished by Chief Engineer Irrigation Department on a mere fabricated complaint by a local doctor who didn’t want the deep drain to be covered. The drain was laid by Drainage Division some years ago without laying a slab over it there making it life threatening for children and elderly citizens. Two months back the residents after exhausting all means to get the problem addressed decided to lay a slab over the open deep drain and heaved a sigh of relief. Today after so much of time to the shock and surprise of residents Chief Engineer, I&FC, Kashmir pressed in to service a JCB along with deployment of a posse of officials and police to remove the slab that covered the dangerously open deep drain. The shocked people tried to reason it out with the authorities and police officials to stop the demolition but the authorities expressed their inability to oblige them as they had the orders from CE, I&FC, Kashmir. A police officer on the spot was seen questioning the wisdom of rendering the link Road useless and putting the lives of the passers by at risk.
Agrieved by the high handedness of the I&FC CE irate people shouted slogans against I&FC authorities. They alleged that the department has not only been sleeping over but also actively collaborating with land mafias to grab hundreds of kanals of departmental land appurtenent to miles of irrigation canals which were put out of use with coming up of residential colonies in Hyderpora – Rawalpora and surrounding areas. They said that these canals have now been non-existent or merged with private lands. The agitated people questioned the demolition and high handedness of the CE Irrigation and Flood Control Department.
The drain which once upon a time was irrigation canal had turned in to a dumping ground for garbage, animal carcases and had become a great public nuisance as walking along the drain had become hazardous for children and elderly. It was not an encroachment on the drain but was provided with an RCC Cover to prevent garbage being dumped in to it and to secure it so that pedestrians could walk over it to reach the service road running along the NH Bypass, they argued.
The people of the area have leveled allegations that Chief Engineer is has been misled by one Dr Altaf Hussain who did not want the dangerous drain to be covered so that he could annex it. And today the CE obliged him.
The residents have appealed the LG to intervene and get the matter investigated thoroughly to bring out the truth behind the doctors fraudulently complaint. They also want the compensation for the destruction caused by the I&FC department. They questioned the action of Department in having double standards where as the same department has allowed a canal running from Majeed bagh to Ibrahim colony to be covered with a slab to pave way for influential residents of Majeedbagh and LD Colony to have direct access to IG Road while disallowing coverage of the abandoned canal/drain that could facilitate residents of Zabarwan Colony to have access to the Service Road running along the NH Bypass.