Bilal Bashir Bhat
Srinagar, May 11 (KNB): With much-awaited inauguration of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover phase-I on Friday the development has brought smiles on the faces of the people of civil line areas while as on the other hand it exhibits the successive governments approach of discrimination towards the 47% of the city’s population in Sher-e-Khas aka Downtown. The Downtown area is facing grave depression and mental trauma due to the repeated restrictions causing no movements on developmental fronts.
Prominent Trader and President Maharaj Gunj, Beopar Mandal, Khursheed Ahmad Dalal, talking to Kashmir News Bureau stated – “While analyzing developmental realities nothing has been given to Downtown as every Government be it NC or PDP has neglected Downtown. In the name of basic amenities, nothing is available neither regular electricity nor water in most of the downtown areas. We had fire brigade at Maharaj Gunj for seven decades which too was recently terminated.”
“Parking facilities are nonexistent and sumo service is not also available in Downtown areas, once Maharaj Gunj Market Mandi attracted traders from Central Asia like Tashkent, Uzbekistan but now we don’t have even basic facilities. Flyovers are for uptown areas and downtown areas are moving towards backwardness. The governing structure does not carry about downtown,” Khursheed added.
The residents of downtown believe due its historical importance, markets and buildings and as a symbol of heritage downtown should be among the hubs of tourists in Kashmir but unfortunately resembles a ghost town with dilapidated conditions of roads, lack of basic amenities like electricity and public transportation especially evening transport is causing huge inconvenience among locals due to the disinterest of the successive governments.
Despite the tall claims of government’s equitable development, the step-motherly treatment melted with the people of downtown undoubtedly reflects the discriminating nature which needs to be addressed on priority basis. (KNB)
Bilal Bashir Bhat