Srinagar MC to seal residential premises being used for commercial purposes

Tightening its noose around violators, the Srinagar municipal corporation (MC) on Monday decided to seal residential premises here which are being misused for commercial purposes.

Many buildings have come up in the city in the past few years, especially in residential areas, and many houses are being used for commercial purposes without permission.

“Commercial establishments in Srinagar operating in buildings/houses will be sealed and prosecuted under the law. Commercial activities are permissible only in buildings with commercial use,” said Junaid Azim Mattu, SMC mayor. A sealing drive will be kicked off soon, he said.

Srinagar and its adjoining areas have witnessed a construction boom in the last two decades, especially shops and malls that have come up in residential areas and 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 warnings were given to people and at some places, the action was taken against the violators, but it proved short-lived,” said Javeed Iqbal, a resident of Rajbagh where dozens of houses have been turned into commercial places.

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 the authorities didn’t take any action. How can shops be constructed in a residential colony? We even approached the authorities and brought it to their notice but to no avail,” said Tariq Ahmad, a resident of Umerabad.

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