Shopkeepers of Nowpora, Khanyar areas in downtown are waiting for compensation cum rehabilitation for three years after their shops were dismantled for road widening in 2012.
More than a dozen shopkeepers in Nowpora complained on Monday that the government has turned blind eye to them which has allegedly resulted even in deaths of two shopkeepers due to growing anxiety of over the years.
They said that they had even approached the then MLA Shamima Firdous who had promised to rehabilitate them.
“Shamima ji promised us to rehabilitate if we don’t do crisis, and then we remained mum but nothing happened,” said Farooq Ahmad, a displaced shopkeeper.
The shopkeepers asserted that this is a state land where they have been earning for years altogether and it does not belong to any person neither is this municipal land.
“Former SMC commissioner Qasba told an illegal owner of this land to get stay from court but now that stay is vacated and we demand rehabilitation now,” alleged Farooq Ahmad.
“Present MLA has conveyed to SMC Commissioner Tufail Matto that he will give all necessary facilities to build shops for us but SMC chief has failed to help us.”
They alleged that now SMC Commissioner is again dilly dallying so that new stay order is brought again.
“When we approached SMC Commissioner he replied that it is PDP government going on and it would not be solved. I fail to understand what it has to do with PDP government, we are workless for 4 years, it is a state land not municipal land,” said Mohammad yaqoob, a shopkeeper.
The shopkeepers alleged that since 2010 Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed expedite work on upcoming shopping complex where they are scheduled to be rehabilitated.
The Shopkeepers said that their counterparts in Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Habba Kadal have already got compensation and now appeal to Chief Minister to intervene.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Tufail Mattoo, Srinagar Muncipal Corporation Commissioner asked dislocated shopkeepers to bring genuine documents highlighting their rehabilitation on part of SMC, said: “If they had been promised of rehabilitation back years, then there must be such record anywhere declaring their rehabilitation process. If they have any documents from any government agency or R&B department that we have to rehabilitate them, then we will do that after they show us the documents. Normally when anybody is knocked out from any area that is decided by high level committee and whose minutes are send to all other departments, but I have never come across any such minute. For any rehabilitation, a meeting has to be comprised of divisional commissioner and members from different departments before taking any such decision of dislocation.”
Regarding the Shopping complex, SMC Chief said that the matter had gone sub-judice which halted its progress but now work has begun again and will be completed within two years.