Downtown residents rue lack of basic facilities

Downtown residents rue lack of basic facilities

Defunct street lights, damaged drainage system common sight in many localities

Residents of several localities of Downtown here accused government of ignoring the areas on developmental front.

Defunct street lights, damaged drainage system and lack of sanitation are a common sight in localities like Zaina Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Fateh Kadal and Gojwara.

“We have been running from pillar to post for past several years for these facilities but to no avail,” said Adil Ahmad of Fateh Kadal.

At Zaina Kadal a group of elderly people rued Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s failure to ensure sanitation in the area.

The ever growing dog menace is the immediate threat people face in many downtown localities. Another problem confronting people is lack of designated parking spaces, resulting in frequent traffic jams and hardships to commuters.

From Nowabazar to Buchpora and from Khayam to Zakura there is not a single designated parking space. The Downtown houses key religious place and historical monuments like Jamia Masjid, Khanqah-e-Moula, Aali Masjid, Maharaj Ganj tomb, Pathar Masjid, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani’s (RA) shrine and famous shrine of Makdhoom Sahib (RA).

But there is no designated parking space in the vicinity of these important places, leaving visitors high and dry and forcing them to park vehicles on roadsides.

“We fail to understand why authorities have failed to designate parking place at important places which are thronged by hundreds of visitors each day,’ said Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, senior vice president Kashmir traders and manufactures federation.

The recent rainfall which inundated most of the downtown areas exposed failure of the government to revamp the decades old drainage system which is lying defunct in many areas.

According to Bhat several marriage functions were adversely affected due to this water-logging. “This should have acted as eye opener for authorities,” he said.

The old wooden electric poles continue to be a looming threat for inhabitants of Downtown. Most of these poles have got damaged and are at the verge of collapse at some places.

The Peoples Democratic Party MLC Muhammad Khurshid Aalam said he has been repeatedly raising the issues in state legislature. 

“The successive governments have failed to address problems faced by people of Downtown during past thirty years,” he said, while blaming “inefficiency” of planners for the woes. 

Chief engineer UEED Hanief Lone said that only few localities fall under UEED and work on drainage system is going on there. 

Commissioner Srinagar municipal corporation (SMC) Peerzada Hafizullah acknowledged the problem. 

"There are complaints about sanitation, defunct street lights and drainage system. I have directed concerned officials to submit a report in this regard and action will be taken soon" he added.