Residential areas fast turning into commercial colonies in Srinagar

Markets grapple with haphazard parking

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 19 2018 10:35PM | Updated Date: Feb 19 2018 10:35PM
Residential areas fast turning into commercial colonies in Srinagar

In absence of proper planning, residential areas are fast turning into commercial colonies in various areas of the summer capital. 

The problem is compounded by lack of parking facilities which results in massive traffic jams.  Housing colonies in Srinagar were well developed for residential purposes and no commercial building permissions were accorded in these colonies other than the areas earmarked for commercial activity.

However, majority of these housing colonies have acquired the status of more of a commercial hub having big shopping centres. 

Several areas including Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh, Gogjibagh, Wazirbagh, Karan Nagar, Bemina, Qamarwari, Shalteng which are well planned residential colonies are fast turning into commercial areas in complete violation of Srinagar Master Plan guidelines.

The residents of these areas said that have lodged complaints with the authorities against people for renting out their residences for commercial purposes. However, no action was taken by the authorities beyond issuing a customary notice to such residents.

Moreover, it has also been seen that residential owners who have rented their residences for commercial purposes have been paying property tax as per taxes applicable for residential property. This is considerably less that the tax applicable for commercial property.

“As per the Master Plan of the Housing Colony, in every block and sector there is provision for minimarket. However, few years back when authority of law and order had started gradually diminishing, the residential colony started turning into hub of commercial activities,” sources maintained.

Sources said that in the earmarked residential zones, nursing homes, restaurants, insurance offices, banks, and beauty salons have come up with full immunity. Many reports were prepared in past to identify all illegal commercial conversions in order to take action but nothing has happened.

According to many people, prominent influential people residing in these areas have played a key role in growth of such commercial activities. “Enforcement wings exist in all agencies, but they are dormant,” they said. 

A senior official, on condition of anonymity, said, “many issues are involved, including laxity on part of the enforcement agencies. And then there is political interference.”

Meanwhile, in absence of proper parking norms and designated parking areas, markets and vital roads of city remain chocked, owing to haphazard parking of vehicles on roadsides. Motorists also find themselves clueless while parking their vehicles.

 

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