Work on much-awaited community hall yet to commence at Batamaloo

Residents say lack of public spaces causing inconvenience

Srinagar, Oct 8: Inhabitants of several interior areas of Batamaloo Saturday expressed resentment over failure of authorities to construct community hall.

Residents of Shah Faisalabad said that despite passing of over a decade, authorities have failed to construct a community hall.

Residents of Shah Faisalabad said that a decade ago, the government allotted land for the community hall. Subsequently in 2008, the then finance minister even laid the foundation stone for the facility during a function.

"But 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 was handed over to Srinagar Municipal Corporation," said Habibullah Bhat, president of Shah Faisalabad locality.

Another resident said some years later, the SMC transferred land back to SDA for development of the community hall. "But the construction work was never taken up even as funds have been released for the project," he said.

Some time ago, the government announced that the proposed community hall will be executed by Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL).

The locals welcomed the announcement as they believed the SSCL would construct community hall equipped with all modern facility and would be constructed as state-of-art.

"We live in a congested area and we are in dire need of a community hall which could be used for functions and other social events work," said Muhammad Yaqoob Bhat, a local and retired senior police officer.

Bhat said that in absence of community hall locals are facing immense hardships in organising different social and family functions.

"During past decade, we have been running from pillar to post and knocked every door to press for construction of the community hall. Despite assurances, no measures have been taken to execute this project" said locals.

The proposed community hall stands sanctioned along with budget to be established at Shah Faisalabad near Old Khadi mill, said locals.

They added even allotment also stands issued in favour of the contractor since years. "But it has been stuck up in the departmental wrangles.”

Locals appealed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene and direct concerned officials to expedite the process and start the construction without any further delay.

An official said that the proposed community hall is being constructed at the cost of four crores rupees. "The work on the project will start shortly," he added.

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