KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
In the absence of the Chief Town Planner, not only general public have been deprived of getting building permissions but also more than a hundred employees of the Town Planning Section of the Housing and Urban Development Department are without salaries since March this year.
Iftikar Ahmed Hakim – the Chief Town Planner attained superannuation in March this year, and since then the post is lying vacant. “This has probably happened for the first time that a vital Town Planning Organization which deals with physical planning and development of towns and cities is headless. Salaries of employees are withheld much to their frustration,” an employee of Town Planning told news agency Kashmir News Trust.
The main functions of Town Planning include the preparation of Master Plans, Planning Schemes, Development Plans, tourist destination areas, and rehabilitation schemes. It also conducts surveys, and studies, and prepares technical reports and documentation of projects. However, everything has come to a grinding halt in the absence of the Chief Town Planner.
Insiders said that since March, the general public has been deprived of getting building permissions. “No meeting of BOCA has taken place. Despite taking up the issue with the authorities, the post of CTP is lying vacant,” they said.
An official in the Town Planning Department on condition of anonymity confirmed that after the retirement of the Chief Town Planner (CTP), the post is vacant and employees including him are without salaries. He said in the absence of any CTP, no meeting of the Building Operations Controlling Authority (BOCA) is possible. [KNT]