Jammu orders demolition of ex-J&K deputy CM Nirmal's illegally built house

The November 8 notice was served to Mr Singh under Section 7 (3) of Control of Building Operations Act 1988

Srinagar: Senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh, a former J&K deputy chief minister, has been asked by the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) to demolish his illegally built house on the outskirts of Jammu within five days.

A JDA notice served on Mr Singh says if the structure is not removed by this time, it will get its enforcement wing to demolish it. The November 8 notice was served to Mr Singh under Section 7 (3) of Control of Building Operations Act 1988.

The notice stated: “You are hereby directed to remove the illegal construction on your own level within five days from the date of issuance of the order.” It added: “If you fail to remove the illegal construction within the stipulated period, the same shall be demolished by the JDA enforcement wing, and the cost of removal shall be recovered from you as arrears of land revenue.”

Mr Singh was deputy CM twice in PDP-BJP coalition governments and was also later Speaker of the erstwhile J&K Assembly.

The palatial house is on a 2,000 square metre plot next to the Army’s ammunition sub-depot at Nagrota. It is part of the 12-acre land bought by some senior BJP leaders through a company Himgiri Infrastructure Development Ltd, of which Mr Singh’s wife Mamta was a shareholder.

The J&K high court had in May 2018, on a petition by the Centre, told government departments to ensure “strict implementation” of the 2015 notification barring the public from construction within 1,000 yards of defence installations.

In November 2017, soon after Mr Singh began constructing the house, the Army had written Jammu’s then deputy commissioner asking him to direct the police and civil administration to stop the work. Despite the Army sending several reminders, no action was taken. Mr Singh and his family moved into the new house in July 2020.

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