by Sabrina Mushtaq
In 2004, the residents of Baghwanpora-Noorbagh area in Srinagar were happy to see the construction of a Community Hall taking shape. A year later, the then local MLA Mubarak Gul, inaugurated the building, much to the relief of the locals, who soon started conducting marriage and other functions there. But what happened next shocked everyone in this small locality. In 2013, one fine morning, officials from local municipality came and razed the structure to the ground. Reason: the earlier construction was not safe!
Five years later, in 2018, the said Community Hall is still under construction, waiting for completion. “It was supposed to be completed in one year, but the contractor has extended the deadline since,” said Kaiser, a local resident.
There are apprehension that the contractor will lapse one more deadline. “Given the congestion and scarcity of space, we have no place to celebrate our marriage ceremonies or other functions,” said Showkat Dar, a local resident.
“The old structure was quite comfortable for us. Authorities razed old structure on the pretext that they will construct a spacious new hall,” said Bashir Wani, a local.
Parvaiz Ahmad Qadeemi, Joint Commissioner of Srinagar district said, “I am not aware of the issue. I will surely visit the place and see for myself.”
Qadeemi assured that the matter will be taken up in an upcoming meeting. “We will discuss this issue and take necessary action.”