Monstrous forest check-post hampers business at Pantha Chowk

Monstrous forest check-post hampers business at Pantha Chowk

Srinagar: A forest check post at Pantha Chowk has emerged main hurdle for shopkeepers who acquired the business sites in lieu of their shops demolished in 2013 under road-widening plan. The shopkeepers say that the relocation has already hit their trade but the check-post hurdle is hampering their re-establishment.
“The government had promised us that the check post would be removed within three days of our relocation but even after three years the situation has not changed. The check-post continues to haunt us,” Umer Ahmad, one of the shopkeepers in the complex, said. They say that the check-post has blocked the shopping complex’s view.
According to shopkeepers, there are 137 shops in the complex. One part of the complex which houses 30 shops suffer most as the Forest Check Post lies near it.
“I have closed down my shop. I was running a general store but there was hardly any customer arriving at my shop. People don’t see shops behind the check post,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, another shopkeeper.
The dull business has created a plethora of problems to the shopkeepers. “We are not able to pay monthly installments to the banks to serve loans we rose to establish businesses,” he said.
Mohammad Ismail, another shopkeeper said that every concerned official knows the story of this complex but they don’t bother to look into the matter. “We are fed up with the assurances of the officials. We will be constrained to block the highway, if the check-post is not removed immediately,” he said.
Chief Engineer, roads and buildings department, Abdul Hameed Sheikh said that his department would assess the situation on the spot before taking any decision. “We will negotiate with the shopkeepers and also take up the matter with the forest department,” he said.

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