Jammu, Feb 20 (PTI) Dozens of commercial structures including restaurants along the Sidhra-Narwal bypass here were closed on Saturday after they were found constructed on encroached land, a senior government official said.
District Development Commissioner, Jammu, Sushma Chauhan said the immediate action to close down around 29 commercial structures was taken to avoid accidents on the busy highway.
“We received a complaint about wrong parking on the Sidhra-Narwal stretch, especially on the weekend days.
“I visited the area and realised the highway was reduced to half of its breadth due to parallel line of parking because of the presence of eateries and other commercial structures on the left side towards Sidhra and asked the tehsildar concerned to inquire where are the parking space of these structures if they have the building permission,” Chauhan told PTI.
She said the structures, which prima facie appear to have been constructed on state land, were closed down as an immediate step to avoid any major accident on the highway because of the wrong parking.
“The other commercial establishments on the same road, which are not currently believed to be on state land are operating normally,” she added.
Further proceedings will be initiated by revenue officials immediately and in case the owners have any legal and valid claim, that shall be duly considered before any measure is taken, Chauhan said.
She said the other departments, including the Jammu Development Authority and the forest department, have been alerted and directed to start eviction proceedings as well.
However, many restaurant owners accused the administration of highhandedness and claimed that they have built their establishments on their private property and not violated the law.
Angel Singh, an owner of one of the restaurants near Sidhra, said a joint team of police and revenue officials ordered the closure of his establishment verbally without giving any reason.
“My restaurant is built on private land and have enough space of parking,” he said and demanded revocation of the order.
Singh said the restaurant business has already suffered immensely due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. PTI TAS AQS AQS