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BUDGAM: Karewas in Cetnral Kashmir’s Budgam district have been disfigured by the land mafia who has been resorting to soil cutting allegedly in connivance with officials while top administrative officials and District Police have been acting as mute spectators. The irony is that JCB owners are openly claiming that they are doing all this with the support of Budgam administration. The contractors who use JCB’s and bulldozers in broad day light can be seen excavating soil in several areas of Budgam including Beerwah, Mallapora, Chaira, Sonar Kolipora, Batapora, Dedan, Sangpora, Grend Kalan, Nendwendpora, Palar, Dejj, Magam Sofipora, and Sehpora.


Reports said that neither officials from civil administration nor from police have been taking cognizance of these illegal practices. People alleged that due to lack of action from local administration, land mafia has become more active from past few weeks. They resort to soil cutting even in broad day light, thus damaging the karewas of Budgam. Pertinently, as per section 133-A of J&K Land Revenue Act, excavation of soil is banned for personal gains. A local from Mallapora village told News agency CNS that after the complaint from the people, District administration had stopped this illegal practice, but now again these vested interest elements have become active. “This illegal practice is not possible without the hidden support of officials,” he said.


An estimated 20 to 30 % of the Karewas in Budgam and Chadoora tehsils alone have been raised to ground after continuous plunder by several construction companies, land mafias and real estate companies. Huge JCBs and other heavy duty earth excavators are being used to excavate the soil which has turned these beautiful hills into valleys of death and destruction. A JCB owner Athar Ali said that he is not the only one who has been resorting to soil cutting but there are scores of people involved in this illegal practice. “It’s not my Mallapora area only but I can tell you the names of all villages where this illegal practice is being adopted. Without the active role of police, this illegal practice can’t be stopped,” Ali said. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan said that he would definitely look into the matter. “I will talk to DDC Budgam and will put an end to this menace,” he said.