By Majid Nabi
Srinagar- The Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) claimed on Friday that the ‘miscommunication’ among officials of several departments, led to the sealing of shops at Aftab Market in city center Lal Chowk, a day earlier.
The Commissioner of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), according to KEA, an amalgam of several trade unions, acknowledged that since 1972, shopkeepers have paid their monthly rent to the civic body well on time.
Addressing a press conference at Aftab Market, KEA chairman Mohammad Yasin Khan said since the issue has been resolved with the higher-ups of SMC and Divisional Administration; it must be ensured that no such action is repeated in the future.
He said the shops at Aftab Market are essentially commercial property of the SMC and that the shopkeepers pay monthly rent to the civic body every month.
“Basically, miscommunication among the officials of different departments led to the sealing of shops at Aftab Market, had shops been illegally occupied, authorities would not have unsealed them the very next day, mistakes do happen and officials are humans as well,” he added.
He said shops were sealed following a complaint by some individual, claiming that the shopkeepers at Aftab Market have illegally occupied his commercial property. Khan said his allegations proved baseless later following which the authorities directed them (shopkeepers) to resume business.
Khan appealed to the administration to implement the Lieutenant Governors directions that poor masses will not be touched during the ongoing eviction drive in letter and spirit.
“I appeal to the administration to spare the poor who might have constructed residential structures on the state land from the ongoing drive against encroachers; we also request the admin to let off small businessmen having suffered huge losses over the years,” he said, adding, business community is not in position to bear further losses.
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