Decade on, no progress on construction of community hall at Batamaloo

Locals aghast, demand completion of project
Decade on, no progress on construction of community hall at Batamaloo
They said that the government allotted land for the community hall and subsequently in 2008, the then finance minister even laid the foundation stone for the facility. GK Photo

Srinagar: Despite passing of over a decade, work on construction of community hall at Batamaloo locality here is yet to start.

The residents of Shah Faisalabad area at Batamaloo said that more than a decade ago, government had started the process of constructing a community hall in their locality, “but the project is yet to kick off.”

They said that the government allotted land for the community hall and subsequently in 2008, the then finance minister even laid the foundation stone for the facility.

They said that the project never moved beyond laying of foundation stone eve as residents continued to face inconvenience.

“For over a decade we have only seen officials passing the buck on each other. We are living in a congested locality and the absence of community hall is creating problems for us. Be it any function or social gathering, we are unable to accommodate people. During marriage ceremonies, people have to shift to other localities to book community halls. This is unfortunate that despite living adjacent to the city centre, we are being ignored,” said Farooq Ahmed, a local.

Habibullah Bhat, community head of the locality said that they have been following the issue for a decade now.

“Earlier the project was to be completed by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), but later the construction was handed over to Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Some years later the SMC transferred land back to SDA for development of a community hall. But the construction work was never taken up," Bhat said.

The locals said that for years, delegations of locals from the area have met SDA authorities, SMC, and even went to the grievance cell “but nothing was done on the ground.”

“In 2020, the authorities said that the project will be executed under a Smart City scheme. It has been around two years since then but nothing was done. The officials said that tendering process will start by March, but we are yet to see any progress. We hope that our decade-long wait will be over,” said Habibullah Bhat.

A senior official from SDA said that majority of the formalities for the project are completed. We are waiting for technical approval so that work can be started.

The community hall will be built under a particular project of the Smart City. We are done with administrative approval and other things. Only the technical approval from R&B department is pending. As soon as we will get a technical approval, we will float tenders for the work,” he said.

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