Residents oppose construction of 'commercial complex' in uptown Bhagat

Greater Kashmir

Residents of uptown Bhagat here are up in arms against the authorities for “allowing construction of a commercial complex” in the residential area.

The locals said the work on the building was started in 2018 after Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had granted permission for construction of the building for residential purpose.

However, the SMC had later put the permission in abeyance after locals complained the structure was designed to be used for commercial purpose.

Muhammad Arif Bhat, President of local Mohalla committee Nawichbagh, Mehboob Colony Bhagat said the construction work on the building has been resumed few days ago.

“We had earlier talked to the owner who assured us that the building is for residential purpose and that he has no intention or plans to use it for any commercial purpose,” he said.

Bhat said after finding various violations in the permission which suggested that the building was being constructed for commercial purpose, the locals again raised the issue with the owner.

“The building is so tall that it has breached privacy of entire locality. Anyone standing in second floor of the building can have look inside houses in the locality,” Bhat said.

The locals questioned the role of SMC field staff supposed to monitor strict implementation of the building plan. “The SMC itself put the construction permission in abeyance after finding grave violations of permission granted. How can they now allow resumption of the work for commercial purpose when permission was granted for residential structure,” locals said.

They said the petition of owner was earlier rejected by a tribunal after the SMC put the permission in abeyance. “But surprisingly, the SMC didn’t follow the case when he filed second petition in the tribunal. There is something fishy,” they said.

Locals urged the SMC commissioner Gazanfar Ali to order probe as how the building permission was violated under the watch of the Commission staff.

An official said the SMC had granted permission for construction of two-storey residential building which was later modified to three-storey residential building with attic.

“It was found that the owner has violated the granted permission. The building design suggests that it is being constructed for commercial purposes,” said a senior official of SMC.

SMC ward Officer Fayaz Ahmad said he was not aware about resumption of construction work on the building in question. “I will ascertain the facts,” he said.