In Srinagar city there is a growing trend of converting residential houses in many colonies into commercial outlets. This activity has been going on in the past several years and all the previous governments are responsible for allowing such activity to go unchecked. After the September 2014 floods, this activity became more pronounced and it got nod from the government agencies in Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bagh, Tulsi Bagh, Gogji Bagh, Hyderpora, Baghat, Barzulla and all the localities in the prime areas of Srinagar which were declared by the government as residential colonies.
In the Governor’s rule, Srinagar Municipal Corporation is not taking any legal action against all those persons and agencies who are converting residential houses into commercial outlets. Most of the people in Srinagar city want Governor N. N. Vohra to intervene and save these colonies from commercialization. They do not want action against only those people, who are now converting residential houses into commercial places, but they want probe in this entire exercise and they wish that accountability is fixed once for all and all those officials are taken to task who are responsible for allowing conversions in the residential colonies of Srinagar. Posh residential areas are fast turning into breeding grounds for unauthorized conversion of residential properties for commercial purposes. Housing colonies in Jammu and Srinagar cities were developed for residential purposes and no commercial building permissions were accorded in these colonies other than the area earmarked for commercial activity by the concerned authorities. The majority of these housing colonies have acquired the status of more of a commercial hub having big shopping centres of every type including sale and service of motor vehicles.
Many illegal structures have also sprouted up; there have been many such instances in the recent past, with both the Municipal Corporations turning a blind eye to them. In place of sprawling bungalows, dozens of fresh commercial spaces are seen rearing their heads in various parts of the twin cities.