After 25 years, govt set to remove bunker at Palladium cinema

We are searching alternate place for forces: Div Com

AUQIB SALAM
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 22 2018 12:17AM | Updated Date: Jan 22 2018 12:17AM
After 25 years, govt set to remove bunker at Palladium cinemaFile Photo

Jammu and Kashmir government has started process to relocate a CRPF bunker at the erstwhile Palladium cinema in city’s commercial hub Lalchowk. 

The bunker was constructed over 25 years ago. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan last week reviewed the modalities for removal of the bunker. The meeting was attended by deputy commissioner Srinagar, DIG JKP, DIG’s from CRPF, VC SDA, joint commissioner SMC and other officials.

“The proposal for removal of the bunker is already there and we reviewed modalities for its shifting. We are looking for alternate site so that the bunker can be relocated,” divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan told Greater Kashmir. 

The bunker was constructed inside the premises of Palladium cinema after it was damaged in a fire incident in April 1993 when militancy was at peak.

The traders said that the bunker has blocked view and entrance of the market affecting their business.

“When tourists or local shoppers see a border-like scene at entrance of the market at Palladium, it scares them away causing loss to our business” said Tariq Ali, a shopkeeper near Palladium.

Residents said that the decades old palladium building wall is at verge of collapse posing a serious threat to pedestrians and shopkeepers.

“Only last week a biker was injured when a loose brick fell off from the wall” a local said.

“It is ironic that in 90s’ when the militancy was at peak, the camp was confined to the inside of building.  But now when government claims that situation has relatively improved, the bunker has occupied the whole Palladium Chowk”, said Nazir Ahmed who owns a six decade old shop near Palladium.

“We are not against security measures, but I don’t know how our city is going to be a smart city as claimed by government with bunkers in the heart of city from decades,” he said.