Save Lal Chowk or face protests, KEA tells govt

Save Lal Chowk or face protests, KEA tells govt

SRINAGAR: Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Thursday threatened to launch an agitation if the government doesn’t take immediate step to preserve the “cultural and commercial importance” of Lal Chowk—the business centre of this summer capital of the state.
KEA—an amalgam of various trade and business associations in Kashmir Valley—said the successive governments in the state “failed” to save “the culture and commercial importance” of historic Lal Chowk.
“If government fails to take measures for the preservation of heritage value of Lal Chowk, we will organise series of protests against the government’s apathy,” KEA’s senior Vice President, Farooq Ahmed Dar, said in a press statement issued here.
“The successive governments planned conspiracy against the city and put its development on hold,” he added.
He alleged that “some quarters” in the government “deliberately allowed” the city to be flooded, and now “they are causing hurdles for the common people of Lal Chowk as well as for the traders”.
“When people and the business community has once again started to make the straw nest, the authorities are causing hurdles for the common people of Lal Chowk and for the traders,” he said.
Dar cited shifting of Sadder Court (Lower Court) from Lal Chowk to Bemina as an example of government’s alleged efforts to ruin the city centre of its heritage value.
“After floods, the commercial establishments started their work once again, but the Sadder Court was shifted from Lal Chowk. Shifting of government offices will have negative impact on the trade. The authorities should review the move,” he said.
He appealed the civil society members, lawyers, and the businesses fraternity at large to realise the “seriousness of the issue” and put pressure on the administration.

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