Jehangir Chowk–Natipora flyover construction hits roadblock

HSHS traders accuse authorities of breach of trust in rehabilitation

SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI

Srinagar, Jan 19: Traders of commercial hub Hari Singh High Street (HSHS) here on Saturday accused the state government of “breach of trust” in their rehabilitation for the proposed construction of flyover from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh.
 The traders who have been undertaking various business activities at the Municipal Commercial Complex, Jehangir Chowk from many decades alleged they were being forced to leave the complex and shift to a newly constructed building. However, the traders maintain that the new building is not feasible for their business.

THE DECEIT  
 The traders led by chairman Hari Singh High Street Traders Association Muhammad Shafi Zargar said the authorities had assured them of rehabilitation in a new building which was scheduled to be constructed adjacent to the existing one.
 “This had been resolved by one and all including senior officers and the local MLA,” the traders said.

‘JAILED’ REHABILITATION
 The traders said in gross violation of the assurance, they were being forced to operate from an upcoming “ill-designed” building adjacent to Kashmir Haat. “This building is just not viable for business activity. Its facade is towards backyard. The building is more of a jail then a shopping complex,” the traders said.

THE APPEAL
 The traders said the rehabilitation was not being done as per the guidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is funding the proposed project to be executed by Economic Reconstruction Company (ERA).
 “ERA and other authorities want to make us work from building which we are just not willing to operate from. The rehabilitation is forcible and unacceptable,” the shoppers said adding “we will prefer to give over lives but won’t shift forcibly.”

PLAN TILL NOW
 In December 2009, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced that Rs. 300 crore flyover would constructed from Jehangir Chowk to Natipora. But till now the work is yet to start while the civil society has been criticizing the government plan saying it won’t suffice the needs of general public.
 At first the government shrunk the proposed corridor by reducing its length.  The Natipora portion was skipped.
 The government eyes on funding of over Rs 300 crore from the ADB to seemingly improve VIP movement than Aam Aadmi’s mobility.

ERA VIEW
 Though the upcoming complex near Jehangir Chowk square has been coming under criticism for alleged design faults, ERA has been saying that the building is perfect for rehabilitation. The ERA officials maintain that the traders were taken into confidence for their rehabilitation. But the traders categorically deny this.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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