Srinagar: Overnight rains damaged at least 10 shops in the revamped Polo View market here.
The market, which was one of the major attractions during the G20 summit in May this year, witnessed a grim sight as shopkeepers woke up to see their shops submerged. This resulted in significant financial losses estimated to be in lakhs.
The iconic street had undergone a massive facelift after about 60 years. Polo View High Street, the first wire free market with latest facilities in Srinagar city. It has been redeveloped under the Srinagar Smart City Project.
However, the incident raised concerns about this Smart City project in dealing with such emergencies. Shopkeepers questioned whether the Smart City's drainage system was robust enough to prevent flooding during heavy rains.
As per the shopkeepers, for the first time, the Polo View market experienced such severe flooding, with water entering shops and damaging valuable products, including shawls and other merchandise.
The situation became dire as at least 10 shops were submerged, and the water level reached almost two inches, leaving traders dismayed and worried about their losses.
“We are in shock…we have never encountered flooding of this magnitude inside the shops before. Valuable merchandise has been ruined, and we are estimating collective losses in several lakhs,” said Saqlain Kawoosa, Polo View market's spokesperson.
However, Srinagar Municipal Corporation officials said that an old drain from the backside of the market was blocked and it caused flooding of shops.
CEO, Smart City Limited, Athar Amir Khan said that after the Smart City project work in the Poloview market, the new drain which runs parallel to the old drain was working well.
"The drainage system in the market was designed to handle moderate rainfall, and has very well coped with the intensity of the rainfall. That old drain blockade led to waterlogging in the market. We will look into this matter and get the faults resolved soon," he said.