The Jammu Development Authority move to sell a portion of Maharaja Hari Singh Park land, adjacent to the local Press Club, in connivance with some influential persons at a meagre amount to construct a commercial structure on the site has raised many an eyebrow.
The JDA and floriculture department entrusted with management of the park, a part of which now has been allegedly sold to an influential businessman of the city. The businessman secured the land after a JDA notice invited application for the sale of the land some time ago.
"This is against the law, as the Supreme Court's decision says land, which should remain as a recreational park for the public, cannot be sold for any purpose," said Harsh Dev Singh, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party president and MLA.
Harsh termed it blasphemous and scandalous attempt on part of the JDA, which, he said has acted wrongly to benefit some people.
"How the JDA becomes the agency to sell off anything which comes its way? This is quite outrageous on the part of JDA to have connived with others in selling the land," said Harsh Dev, adding that he was astonished on reading an advertisement notice of the JDA inviting applications to sell off the said land.
The BJP MLA, Ashok Khajuria, under whose constituency the park falls said he would like to initiate an inquiry into the matter once he gets all information from the JDA.
"I would seek all information from the JDA on the sale of land and in case it is found that the deal was wrongly executed to appease anybody, I would initiate an inquiry through the government to stop such illegal activity," said Ashok Khajuria.
The MLA added that the district commissioner should look into the matter urgently and pass on necessary information so that the work on the park could be immediately stopped.
While the land is a piece of reclamation done on the Tawi river banks, the state administration had left it for the general public for recreation purpose.
Some time ago that former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had addressed a rally from the same place and had expressed a desire that there should be some recreational park for the people in the city.
The All Jammu Hotel and Lodges Association (AJHLA) chief Inderjit Khajuria, too, expressed similar views as Harsh Dev and Khajuria. He even took a dig at the JDA for selling and purchasing land on its own without any administrative check.
"The park is demarcated as Maharaja Hari Singh Park and is only meant for the general public to have fresh air on the Tawi banks. There should not be any permission to raise any establishment, be it a commercial or of the government. Any unauthorised work on the area should henceforth be stopped," said AJHLA president Inderjit Khajuria.