KHRA condemns Lal Chowk road narrowing
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Mar 22: The Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) has condemned the ongoing narrowing of the historic Lal Chowk road for beautification of the marketplace.
In a statement, the KHRA President, Siraj Ahmed said the hoteliers weren’t against the beautification of the Lal Chowk but wanted the development to be “logical and beneficial so that the funds don’t go waste.”
Referring to the ongoing work for construction of the park in the middle of the road and fencing of the footpaths around, Siraj said: “What is fun of making a park in the middle of the road when there are many parks along the Pratabh Park track?”
“Nobody except anti-social elements like druggies would like to sit at the Lal Chowk park,” he opined.
On the fencing of the pavements, he said: “The fencing could create a havoc if any untoward incident occurs in the City centre.”
“Where will the people run for cover in case of bomb blast or firing? The plan lacks any disaster management strategy. And then do we have fencing along Canuat Place shops in New Delhi?” he argued.
Siraj, who himself runs Hotel Orion at Lal Chowk, he said his community wasn’t taken into confidence for the beautification of the commercial hub.
“The authorities should have taken us into confidence before starting the work.”
Siraj said his family had 60 years experience of running the business at Lal Chowk. “And by virtue of that I fear such a unplanned development is going to be a disaster.”
He contested the narrowing of the road from over a hundred feet to a 48 feet track.
“When you have a scope for multiple tracks, why to close this option?”
The KHRA claimed that the roadside landscaping would in now way benefit the business community.
“This is not going to benefit this location in anyway keeping its values of heritage, commercial actives and historic perspective in mind,” the President said.
He said if the authorities had taken the roadside landscaping as “prestigious issue”, then let they “landscape some feet portion in the middle and leave the rest for traffic movement.”
“We are not against landscaping. What ever space is left in the middle, let they use it.”
Pertinently, in January, the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah had granted Rs two crore as a goodwill gesture for the development of Lal Chowk.
Siraj said the money could be spent on “other serious issues like drainage, underground lighting and better road access to parking lots like the one at nearby Sheikh Bagh.”
Siraj said the KHRA met a senior official in the Divisional administration many a time seeking government intervention into the matter.
“But till now nobody has come to our rescue,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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