Commercial building construction along highway continues unnoticed

The unabated construction for commercial activities is going on at a time when the Baramulla district administration started the process of land acquisition at Sangrama and Delina for the construction of flyovers.
Commercial building construction along highway continues unnoticed
Encouraged by the administration’s silence over the issue, the construction of shopping complexes is being witnessed even in residential areas, leaving locals angry. [Representational Image]Pxhere [Creative Commons]

As the J&K administration prepares for its pilot Srinagar-Baramulla four-lane highway project, the authorities have failed to put an end to the mushroom growth of commercial buildings all along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.

Encouraged by the administration’s silence over the issue, the construction of shopping complexes is being witnessed even in residential areas, leaving locals angry.

The unabated construction for commercial activities is going on at a time when the Baramulla district administration started the process of land acquisition at Sangrama and Delina for the construction of flyovers.

These flyovers are part of the four-lane project.

As per the four-lane project, the road stretch from Narbal to Baramulla town would be constructed as a four-lane one while the road from Baramulla town to Uri would be constructed as a two-lane one.

“If the J&K administration is mulling to start a four-lane Srinagar-Baramulla project, then how is the administration allowing such commercial activity,” said Firdous Ahmad of Kanispora, Baramulla.

He said that for the past few years, several shopping complexes had been constructede on the highway at Kanispora and Sangrama while the construction on other complexes was on.

“If they are legal and don’t violate government’s set norms then who will pay them compensation in case a four-lane project starts,” Ahmad said.

In Baramulla town, apart from the construction of shopping complexes on the highway, the commercialisation of residential areas is becoming a problem for the locals.

Expressing concern, a resident of the area said that despite their mohalla being registered as a residential area and one of the oldest colonies, the commercial activity in the area was not being stopped.

“The construction of shopping complexes in my mohalla is under progress. Once a serene colony, it is now turning into a hub of commercial activities. A reasonable citizen living in the area is left with no option but to sell his house. Despite our area being close to Municipal Council Baramulla office, a few yards away from the local police station and close to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, no one is interested to stop these illegal activities,” said Muhammad Ayoub of Noorbagh, Baramulla.

The commercialisation of residential areas in violation of the government’s set norms has turned Baramulla town into a concrete jungle and not a single green patch is left where a small park could be constructed for kids and the elderly.

The residents are urging the authorities to pay attention and stop haphazard construction activity that is becoming a nuisance for them.

If the trend continues, more people would be encouraged to carry these construction activities that could become a disaster for the area.

“It is a dangerous trend. The authorities, especially the Baramulla district administration need to focus on this issue. Otherwise, people from these areas will have no option but to desert the area,” said Muhammad Ashraf of KanlibaghBaramulla.

“If municipal council laws do not allow such activities in residential areas, one wonders as to who permits them? If such constructions are illegal then why does the district administration not act,” said Bilal Ahmad of Kanlibagh, Baramulla.

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