Decade on, no progress on construction of Community Hall at Batamaloo

Decade on, no progress on construction of Community Hall at Batamaloo
GK Photo

Srinagar, June 8: Despite passing of over a decade, work on Community Hall project at Batamaloo locality is yet to start.

The residents of Shah Faisalabad area in Batamaloo said that more than a decade ago, the government had started process of constructing a community hall in their locality. Byut the project is yet to kick off.

A delegation led by community heads including Habibullah Bhat and Muhammad Yaqub Bhat said that amid space crunch in the area, there is no headway in the Community Hall construction.

“We have been going from pillar to post for years now. The allotted land has become a nuisance now as drug addicts and other miscreants have occupied it. Officials are giving assurance and nothing has been done so far,” said Yaqub Bhat.

The residents said that in 2008, the then Finance Minister had even laid foundation stone for the Community Hall during a function. They said that the project never moved beyond as locals continue to face inconvenience.

“For over a decade, we have only seen officials passing the buck to each other. We are living in a jam-packed locality and absence of a community hall is creating a huge issue for us. Be it any function or social gathering, we are unable to accommodate people. During marriage ceremonies, people have to shift to other localities to book community halls. This is unfortunate that despite living adjacent to the city centre, we are being ignored,” Yaqub Bhat added.

The community heads of the locality said that they have been following the issue for a decade now and still they have to go from pillar to post.

They said that earlier the project was to be set up by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), but later the construction was handed over to Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

“Some years later, the SMC transferred land back to SDA for the development of the Community Hall. But the construction work was never taken up," said another local.

The locals said that for years, locals from the area have met SDA and SMC authorities, and even went to the grievance cell but nothing was done on the ground.

Another local said that “In 2020, the authorities said that the project will be executed under a Smart City scheme. It has been around two years since then, but nothing was done. The officials said that tendering process will start by March but we are yet to see any progress. We hope that our decade-long wait will be over and we will get the community hall in our locality,”

While talking to officials from SDA they said that majority of the formalities for the project are done. Officials said that they are waiting for the technical approval so that work can be started.

An official of SDA said that the Community Hall will be built under a particular project of Smart City. “We are done with administrative approval and other things. Only the technical approval from R&B department is pending. As soon as we will get a technical approval, we will float tenders for the work,” he said. The residents appealed to administration to look into the matter.

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