Construction of Jehangir Chowk- Rambagh ‘affect’ shopkeepers

Solina traders block traffic, demand compensation

Srinagar: Shopkeepers took out protest march and blocked the traffic at Solina in Srinagar protesting against the government’s indifference towards them.

The shopkeepers complained that their business has got affected due to construction work of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover.
The flyover project, which was in July 2009 and had to be completed in three years, hit many roadblocks, including litigation by traders, who are to be relocated to make way for the project.
Demanding compensation, the traders had earlier put a proposal before the authorities so that their grievances could be addressed.

“The shopkeepers protested against the failure of the government to provide them compensation. Police had also taken action, but we (KTMF) reached and handled the situation,” Said Farhan Kitab, media advisor to Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF).

He said that the additional DC also reached the spot and fixed a meeting with the Divisional Commissioner.
Expressing disappointment on the part of Government, Chairman KTMF, Yasin Khan said that it was unfortunate that the government had rendered the shopkeepers helpless.
“This has become a police state. We have conducted the meeting with Divisional commissioner but I don’t expect anything yet,” Khan said

He said that the market consists near about 150 shops and serves a source of income to more than 300 families, “but government has done nothing for their rehabilitation nor have they been given any compensation”.

“The road is littered with construction material, there is no space for parking and the pollution level has gone up three folds. The customer footfall to the shops has dropped by over 100 percent,” he said.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Shailender Kumar while commenting on the issue said, “We have not promised them anything. There is no such policy at all.”

“They are claiming that there business has got affected and are demanding rehabilitation. There is no such provision. Rehabilitation policy is for the displaced ones. But they are not subject to any rehabilitation,” Kumar told Rising Kashmir.

“I have asked them to get all the details tomorrow. If the demands will be genuine, I will take up the case with government,” Kumar added.