Residents of Zafran Colony, Pantha Chowk here on city outskirts have expressed resentment over lack of basic amenities in the area.
Even after demanding public transport services for the past six years, the locals accused the authorities of turning a "blind eye" towards the redressal of their grievances
Residents said they lack public transport facility and have to walk at least two kilometres every day to board a vehicle to reach their respective destinations. Elderly people in the area said that they have left no stone unturned to seek public transport facility for the area, which has now become densely populated given the migration of people from various parts of old Srinagar.
"Today, you won't find land here to construct house. Most of the people from Sonwar, Dalgate, Habba Kadal and other areas of Srinagar have constructed houses here. But public transport continues to be a major issue," said Muhammad Yasin Rather, a resident.
Lateef Ahmed Mir, another resident said that school children have to walk or seek lift from the private vehicles travelling on the road to reach Sempora. "Only a few Sumo vehicles ply on this road from Lal Chowk to Balhama. We urge the government to ensure proper transport service either from Pantha Chowk bye-pass to Zafran Colony or from Lal Chowk to Zafran Colony to and fro," Mir said.
President of Achanambal-Zaffran Colony area, Haji Abdul Gaffar Rather said that they started the drive to ensure public transport service for the area in 2007. "We have submitted several representations for redressal of our problems but received only assurance from MLAs, ministers, and other officials. Nothing has happened so far," he said.
"Earlier, we used to have one bus particularly for this area from Lal Chowk to Zafran Colony. Now that there is huge population living here, services of just a few Sumo vehicles won't do. We once again urge the concerned authorities to permanently fix at least 10 Sumos and two SRTC buses particularly to and fro for Zafran Colony area from Lal Chowk,"Rather said.
He said that the Colony which is spread over thousands of kanals of land is fast emerging one of the biggest residential colonies of Srinagar. "But its irony that we lack basic amenities. We have meters but there is no electricity. Voltage is too low," he said.
The residents of the area also demanded installation of ATMs in the area. "From Sempora to Balhama which is five km destination, there is no a single of any bank. We have to either travel to Pantha Chowk or to Pampore to withdraw money," they said.
Local MLA Muhammad Ashraf Mir admitted that the area lacks proper transport service. "I am aware of the problems being faced by the residents of Zafran Colony. I am trying my best to ensure proper transport facility for the area. I have already taken up the issue with the concerned officials. I will discuss the issue with the RTO soon," Mir added.