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Sluggish execution of Smart City works takes sheen off Eid shopping

Dilapidated, dug-up roads hamper smooth vehicular, pedestrian movement
06:41 AM Jun 16, 2024 IST | Rabiya Bashir
sluggish execution of smart city works takes sheen off eid shopping
Sluggish execution of Smart City works takes sheen off Eid shopping--Photo GK

Srinagar, June 15: On the eve of Eid-ul-Adha, traders in Downtown Srinagar are staring at significant losses as the sluggish construction work under the Smart City project has transformed the area into a virtual construction site, severely disrupting business activities.


Once vibrant markets in Shaher-e-Khas, including Bohri Kadal, SR Gunj, and Gade Kocha and adjoining markets wear a deserted look— with roads dug up and open manholes, making them impassable for customers.


This situation has dampened the traditional surge in business activity during Eid, leaving shopkeepers struggling to make ends meet.


Nazir Ahmad Shah, president of the Shaher-e-Khaas Traders Alliance, told Greater Kashmir that due to chaotic situation caused by the haphazard pace of the Smart City work, the whole business has suffered badly .


"Roads have been blocked instead of keeping at least one side open. The ongoing construction work, meant to enhance the city's infrastructure and overall development, has inadvertently taken a toll on the livelihoods of the traders," he said.


Shah said they have suffered losses in crores due to the sluggish construction work under Smart City Project.


“Lack of proper planning and execution has resulted in roads being rendered unusable, hindering the flow of customers and causing a severe decline in sales,” he said.


Shah further said that the traders have brought this issue to the attention of the administration “but to no avail.”

He said that during the last Eid, they also suffered losses due to the construction work. “The authorities had promised that by Eid-ul-Azha, everything would be ready. They assured that the pathways and streets would be walkable by now, but the situation is no different,” Shah said.

A local shopkeeper Abdul Rashid said, "we were hoping for good sales during Eid, but the slow pace of construction of roads and drains has driven customers away. Our shops are empty, and we are incurring daily losses. It’s becoming impossible to sustain our businesses.”

Various ground visits over the past few weeks have revealed traffic bottlenecks in Dalgate, Nowpora, Noorbagh, Parimpora, Khwaja Bazar, Khanyar, Nishat, Nawab Bazar, Karan Nagar, and Nowgam, among other areas of the city.

Commuters have reported that the ongoing construction in Downtown, including Khanyar, has narrowed roads, creating bottlenecks.

They also pointed out the slow work at Dalgate Bridge by the R&B department, which has created another bottleneck at Badyari Chowk.