Residents allege master plan violations

SRINAGAR: Residents of Srinagar city are alleging rampant construction of shopping malls and other commercial buildings in the flood-hit localities.

Our Correspondent

SRINAGAR, MAY 24

Residents of Srinagar city are alleging rampant construction of shopping malls and other commercial buildings in the flood-hit localities. They alleged that violations of the Srinagar Master Plan were taking place under the nose of the authorities but nothing was being done.

Though in March the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) started a demolition drive against violators who were constructing their buildings beyond the given official permission, the constructions are going on unabated.

Most of the commercial buildings are being constructed in Jawahar Nagar, which is being fast turned into a commercial place, the move which residents are resisting.

“Constructions are taking place on the main road under the nose of the government and nothing being done,” a resident said.

There is a boom in construction of malls and other commercial buildings coming up illegally in residential areas. Hundreds of buildings, including shops and malls, are coming up in violation of the norms in areas which were worst hit by floods, such as Rajbagh, Gogji Bagh, Kursu, Wazirbagh, Karan Nagar and the city centre of Lal Chowk.

Locals from the flood-hit areas have been making repeated pleas to the authorities to stop the construction boom but no concrete steps have been taken. “The government is letting it happen because of influential people,” another resident said.

When the SMC launched the demolition drive in March, the people who were constructing the building resisted the demolition drive, which led to traffic gridlocks and caused inconvenience to commuters.

As per reports, SMC had so far given permission for the construction of more than 1,100 houses in the city. However, officials of the SMC were not available for comments.

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