SRINAGAR: Traders and shopkeepers of Solina area on Saturday observed a shutdown seeking their proper rehabilitation. They were also protesting against diversion of traffic proposed by the traffic police due to construction of Jehangir Chowk -Rambagh flyover.
A large number of shopkeepers held a protest demonstration in Solina after authorities ordered to suspend traffic from the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh road. The protesting traders claimed that the suspension of the traffic on the said route will hit their business.
“Our business has been already hampered by construction of the flyover. Now by traffic diversion, it will end completely. We are against this move and if our problems are not addressed, we will intensify our agitation in the coming days,” said the protesting traders.
President of Solina traders association Aijaz Ahmed along with 40 other shopkeepers were detained by police at Shergadi police station. All of them were released later.
Authorities in 2014 had promised traders that Rs 10, 000 per month would be given to every shopkeeper from Solina to Bakshi Stadium for their business loss. However the promise remains to be implemented.
“The traders association has spoken to ERA, Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar for implementation of this promise, but nothing happened,” said a protester, Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi.
Owners of thirteen shops, which were demolished, have been compensated by the authorities. But, there are 400 shopkeepers, who have lost their businesses and suffering health wise as well. They are demanding proper rehabilitation.
President of the Solina traders association while talking to Kashmir Reader said government should either shift their shops to a different place or pay them money pending since 2014. “Besides government must provide medical facilities to shopkeepers as most of them are suffering from chest problem and related issues,” he said. Bhat said that one shopkeeper Sagar Ahmad died due to chest disease.
“There is no business since the construction work was started. The traders here are losing hope, government should compensate as promised,” Bhat added.
Following the strike, hundreds of vehicles were stranded as the road leading to Lal Chowk from Rambagh remained blocked.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic (Srinagar) Maqsood ul Zaman said the traffic remained affected for three hours due to the strike and it choked the city.