Srinagar: Removing encroachments and chocking points triggered a shutdown at Hari Singh High Street area of Srinagar city centre on Friday.
All the shops remained shut and the shopkeepers at HSHS staged a protest terming the action of Srinagar Municipal Corporation ‘arbitrary’ one.
On Thursday late evening, SMC used JCB to remove illegal pavements at Hari Singh High Street. The action on part of the SMC has angered shopkeepers who allege they are being selectively targeted.
Trade leader Muhammad Yaseen Khan while talking to reporters said that they are tax payers and SMC should have taken them into confidence before taking any action and that too during night hours. “It’s not a protest but we are saying that SMC should have informed us before the action,” he said.
Worth to mention here is that Commissioner SMC Aamir Athar Khan a couple of days back had visited HSHS, Jahangir Chowk and adjacent areas, asking shopkeepers to remove additional encroachments themselves or face consequences.
“It’s not like shopkeepers were not informed about the action. Some shopkeepers are sitting on illegal encroachment and they want to grab the illegal part that belongs to common people. The illegal occupation of pavements, side-walks are chocking traffic and pedestrian movement,” an official from SMC told news agency Kashmir News Trust in response to the shutdown observed by the shopkeepers.
As reported earlier, the illegal construction of pavements by shopkeepers and displaying merchandize outside their shops have created chocking points blocking smooth movement of pedestrians and traffic.