Commercial Complex In Residential Area: Baagaat Residents Up In Arms

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SRINAGAR: Anger is brewing among residents of Baagaat in uptown Srinagar against authorities for “allowing construction of a commercial complex” in their residential area.

A multi story building is fast coming up at Nawichbagh, Baagaat, which the residents say is meant for commercial purposes in a purely residential zone. Residents have filed a case with police as apprehensions of law and order break down in the locality grew after the builder ignored their warnings to stop construction.

“First Srinagar Municipal Corporation had granted permission for construction of the building for residential purpose and then put the permission order in abeyance after residents resented the move and now to the utter shock of the locals, the construction that too for the commercial complex has started again,” Muhammad Arif Bhat, President local Mohalla committee Nawichbagh, Mehboob Colony Baagaat said.

He appealed to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to take cognisance of the matter and file a case against those responsible for the illegal activity.

“We had no objection if the building was for residential purpose, but ironically, despite the assurances given by the owner and SMC, the building is now taking shape of a commercial complex. It is a residential area and we won’t allow any commercial activity here,” residents said, adding the tall structure has breached privacy of scores of households in the locality.

Residents are demanding action against the SMC Field Staff whom they accuse of being hand in glove with the developer.

They said the petition of the owner was earlier rejected by a SMC Tribunal and subsequently the SMC put the permission in abeyance. “But surprisingly, the SMC didn’t follow the case when he filed a second petition in the Tribunal. There is something fishy,” they alleged.

Residents in a memorandum have now urged the SMC commissioner Gazanfar Ali to order a probe into the whole affair.

SMC Commissioner has meanwhile assured residents that he will look into the matter. 

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