Srinagar: Amid rise in fire incidents in Downtown areas, construction of Fire Station at congested Maharaj Gunj here is facing inordinate delay.
The residents of Downtown said despite passing of many years, the project is yet to take off. Over a month ago, at least four structures were gutted at Gojwara area of Downtown.
Earlier this year, a woman was killed and two other people were injured in a devastating fire incident at Aali Kadal.
The residents and the trade community of the area said that the densely populated area of Downtown is prone to fire incidents. They said delay in construction of the proposed Fire Station is putting their lives and property at risk.
They said that after the building of one of the oldest Fire Stations at Maharaj Ganj was dilapidated and declared unsafe, the fire station was moved out of Maharaj Gunj exposing the area to risk of fire incidents.
“Our properties are at risk due to such incidents. Our locality is the hub of trade and all the shops are in congested locality making them prone to fire incidents. Over the past few years, property worth crores of rupees has been destroyed in fire incidents,” said Fayaz Ahmed, a trader.
To mention, in March this year, at least nine shops were gutted in a fire incident in Zaina Kadal area of Downtown. The traders said that they lost their livelihood in the incidents as authorities are sitting on the issue.
Officials from the R&B department said that they have been tasked to proceed with the work. They said that after years, many formalities were completed and the work is supposed to start soon. However, an official from the R&B department informed that the project continues to face multiple hindrances.
“The project is facing delays in past few years. Recently tenders were floated and the land has already been identified in Downtown to construct the Fire Station. Authorities were also planning to include a parking facility for the locals adjacent to the site. We have finalised the DPR for the parking facility adjacent to the proposed Fire Station land,” said an official.
Executive Engineer, R&B Abdul Manan said that a few days back after much delay, they started the work. “But some residents objected to the construction of Fire Station on certain grounds. The work was again halted,” he said.
“The residents have few reservations about their privacy. We have assured them that the department will ensure that no issues are faced by locals as the project is for the good of Downtown area,” he added.