Commercial establishments operating in sites for residential use to be sealed in Srinagar

The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) will soon seal commercial establishments in Srinagar operating in buildings and houses with residential use.

From past many years, many buildings have come up in the city, especially in residential areas. Many areas which were otherwise marked as residential areas have been turned into commercial areas as business establishments have come in such locations.

The SMC is tightening the grip on the violators, especially those without the permission.

“Commercial establishments in Srinagar operating in buildings/houses with residential use building permissions to be sealed and prosecuted under law. Commercial activities are permissible only in buildings with commercial use building permission,” said Junaid Azim Mattu, SMC mayor. He said the drive will begin very soon.

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Srinagar and its adjoining neighbourhoods have witnessed a construction boom in the last two decades, especially shops and malls have come up in the residential areas. Many people have converted their residential properties into commercial buildings without seeking proper permission from the concerned authorities.

Sources said that the government has already identified many such buildings or houses which are being used for commercial purposes.

“Earlier also similar warnings were given to people and at some places action was taken against the violators, but it proved short-lived. Hope this time government shows some seriousness, we are losing spaces for housing to business houses,” said Javeed Iqbal, resident of Rajbagh where dozens of houses have been turned into commercial places against the law.

At Umerabad and Shalteng localities on the city outskirts, houses and plots meant for residential purposes have been converted into commercial properties.

“During the lockdown, several shops were constructed in our lane and authorities didn’t take any action. How can shops be constructed in a residential colony? We even approached the authorities and brought to their notice but no action was taken against the violators,” said Tariq Ahmad, resident of Umarabad.

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