Commercial Activities in Residential Areas

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In early 20th century due to migration from the inner, older core to the outlying city suburbs, new residential colonies came up at Karanagar, Balgarden, Wazir Bagh  and Samander Bagh. In early 1960’s state government declared Balgarden & Jawahar Nagar as first planned residential colony and the plots were allotted to the government officials only. Also in 1971/1977 Srinagar Master Plan, areas like Karanagar, Balgarden, Wazir Bagh & Jawahar Nagar were declared as residential. But during the last few years, hundreds of residential houses have been converted into commercial establishments in Srinagar. Shopping malls, coaching centres, nursing homes and other commercial enterprises have come up in the lanes and bye lanes of these residential colonies, thus violating the provisions of Control of Buildings Operations Act 1988, regulating the land and property use in the state.

These complexes have no parking area at all, so the owners and visitors of these complexes block gates and lanes of the residents by parking their vehicle, even load carriers are parked in these lanes.

Suggestions:

1). Due to increase in population, increased number of households & increase in rural to urban migration, we require enhanced quantum of land for housing; Construction of new houses should be limited to the land already meant for housing colonies  & these areas should be exclusively earmarked for housing settlement. No shopping complexes,  offices, hotels, guest houses, nursing homes, educational institutions,  workshops, etc. should be constructed there.

2). Commercial structures should have their own parking spaces, so that the residents do not have to face any inconvenience.

  3). To ensure stipulated use of land, to ensure maximum utilization of land and to stop misuse of land,  zoning of residential areas, commercial areas & agricultural lands is necessary, otherwise  shopping complexes will come up in residential areas  & housing colonies will come up on our agricultural land (it’s needless to mention that agriculture is the back bone of our state).

Fazal Ali 

Balgarden, Srinagar

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