Years on, Batamaloo inhabitants crave for community hall

Inhabitants of several interior areas of Batamaloo have expressed resentment over failure of authorities to construct community hall.

The aggrieved residents took up the matter with the Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) while he visited the area to look into problems of the inhabitants.

On the occasion, the SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali assured locals that the process for construction of community hall at the identified site in locality will be expedited.

Locals of Shah Faisalabad, Dhobi Mohalla and Firdousabad apprised the Commissioner about their long pending demands.

“We told SMC Commissioner that more than a decade ago, government had allotted land for the community hall in the locality. Subsequently in 2008, the then Finance minister had even laid foundation stone for the facility,” said Muhammad Yaqoob Bhat, a retired senior police officer and social activist. Bhat is currently president of local Welfare Committee.

“We told him that work on the project is yet to started despite assurances from various quarters. Over the years, the project has been passed from one department to another. Earlier the project was to be executed by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) but later the construction work was handed over to Srinagar Municipal Corporation,” Bhat said.

He said some years later, SMC transferred the land to SDA for development of community hall. “But the construction work was never taken up even as funds have been released for the project.”

“We are living in congested area and are in dire need of a community hall which could be used for marriage functions and other social events,” he said.

In March 2019, SDA had said that it would prepare detailed project report in 2019.

Molvi Habibullah, another executive member of local welfare committee said that they shared all records and documents with SMC Commissioner. 

Habibullah said the proposed community hall stands sanctioned for Rs 1 crore to be established at Shah Faisalabad near Old Khadi mill.

He added even allotment also stands issued in favour of the contractor since four years. “But it has been stuck up in the departmental wrangles”, he said.

“The SMC Commissioner gave us patient hearing and assured that process for construction of community hall will be expedited,” he said.

SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali said that all grievances raised by locals would be redressed shortly.

“There are several genuine grievances in interior areas of Batamaloo. After touring and meeting the locals, I learnt about their problems. We will expedite the process for construction of community hall,” he said.