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Poloview Shopkeepers Protest Closure of Parking Space
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Poloview Shopkeepers Protest Closure of Parking Space

Under the Smart City Project, the administration is planning to convert the historic market street into a walkway.

SRINAGAR — The shopkeepers at the historic Poloview in Srinagar have expressed resentment against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for converting the historical market street into a walkway.

Under the Smart City Project, the parking space which is located at the east end of the Poloview lane will be converted into a new road.

The shopkeepers, whose shops are located at Polo View here have expressed resentment against the authorities for the proposal. They also observed a shutdown against the move.

The traders staged a protest at Polo View market accusing authorities of arbitrarily closing a lone parking spot in the busy area.

“We arrived to park our vehicle behind the Polo View market, but we were shocked to find the parking closed. The administration is initiating a project to facelift the market which was supported, however, they say that there is no provision of parking kept in the project,” said Muhammad Ismail, president of Polo View Traders Association.

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He said that under the Smart City Project, the authorities are deciding to remove the parking space from the locality.

However, he said that such a move would certainly leave the shopkeepers to suffer as there would be no space available for them as well as the shoppers to park their vehicles.

Ismail stressed that authorities should ensure the availability of parking spaces so the shopkeepers, as well as shoppers, don’t suffer.

SMC Mayor, Junaid Mattoo told Mountain Ink that he will personally look into the matter and will meet the shopkeepers to hear their plea.

According to the Smart City Plan, the road will be redesigned and will be filled with marble stones and some creative designs to make it aesthetic. The existing shops will stay intact and according to Government officials in the Smart City project, it will attract more people to visit their shops. The Sumo Stand located at the south end of the lane which is 2.37 Kanal of land will be moved some meters from there. And the Existing SDA parking which is adjacent to the sumo stand will be shrunk down.

Situated in the heart of the city, the Poloview lane and market is historic, famous and undoubtedly eye-catching and shares its boundary with famed Polo ground.

This market came into existence in 1954 after a fire fully damaged shops situated at the bund near residency road and then Prime Minister allotted this place to the shopkeepers. Since then, this place remains intact with several shops showcasing Art and Craft. This place has many other buildings which include the Kashmir Press Club.

As of now, there are about 35 shops on the polo ground side and 20 on the opposite side, the upper floors have been converted into office spaces, restaurants, travel agencies, laptop sellers, and many other workspaces. There are six chinars which are in between the two sides of roads.

The Divisional commissioner (Div. Com) Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole had chaired a meeting of Srinagar Smart City Limited a few months ago in which many developmental proposals were suggested including the building of walkways.

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