Town Hall Goes Up In Flames, Hours Before Oath Ceremony

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SRINAGAR: On the eve of oath ceremony slated for Tuesday, the Town Hall in Shopian went up in flames. The Hall is located at a stone’s throw from the police station.

Officials said the fire tenders are working to control the conflagration.

Reports reaching here said the fire started from the Town Hall’s Record Room at around 8 pm. By the time, the firefighters reached the spot; the entire building was caught in the fire. Located between the police station and the hospital, the Town Hall was the old structure that existed for decades. The Hall would be the routine destination for all the political and social activities. The local municipal office would operate from the hall.

Officials said the facility has no habitation very close by. “There is a shopping line closer to it but it is adequately located away from the spot,” one official said.

Shopian Municipality has 17 wards. In five wards, no application of nomination came, the authorities said. In the remaining 12 wards, migrant Kashmir Pandits filed the nominations on BJOP mandate. Since there was no opposition from anybody, they were all declared winners unopposed.

There was no requirement for an election because 12 candidates were declared winners unopposed and five had no candidate at all.

The new building of the Town Hall Shopian that went up in flames on October 29, 2018

According to the details revealed by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Batapora is being represented by Veena Koul wife of Subash Koul; Alyalpora by Kuldeep Raina son of Makhan Lal Raina; Bagander by Rajinder Kumar son of Basker Nath; Baba Mohalla by Vikas Koul son of Veer Kumar Koul; Malik Mohalla by Rakeesh Sharma son of Brij Lal Sharma; Gadri Mohalla by Ms Sushma Bali wife of Ashok Kumar; Mir Mohalla by Ashok Kumar Bali son of Basker Nath; Banday Mohala by Beauty Koul wife of Veer Kumar; New Colony Bon Gratbal by Rajni Koul wife of Bal Krishan; Pinjoora (A) by Rajinder Bali son of Basker Nath; Pinjoora (B) by Subash Chander son of Janki Nath; Meemander (B) by Subash Chander son of Janki Nath.

The five wards that are vacant for want of any nomination include Khairbagh, Sheikh Mohalla, Main Bazar, Kralla Mohalla, and Meemander (A).

The Srinagar Municipality Corporation corporators took oath on Monday. The members of the Ganderbal Committee took the oath of office on Saturday. Shopian was to follow the suit on Tuesday.

The Municipal Committee Shopian was established in the year 1932 as Town Area Committee and converted in to Notified Area Committee in 1963. The main town hall building was constructed in 1957. The foundation stone was laid by Shamsuddin minister for Local self and Dehat Sudhar Jammu and Kashmir government. However, almost 20 years back, a new edifice was set up in the same premises. It has a fenced orchard and was the main infrastructure for gatherings in the town, both political and social.

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