Majid Kapra

7 months after inauguration, Lal Chowk Square still awaits extensive repairs

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Srinagar: Seven months after a grand inauguration by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the city centre Lal Chowk is still waiting for substantial repairs.

From the ornate alphabets of hashtag #Lal Chowk, where visitors and residents used to click selfies, to the fragile base of colorful fountains, everything needs a good amount of construction work and subsequent finishing touches.

Those visiting Lal Chowk on a daily basis have accused the authorities of having confined their role to mere photo-ops, claiming that the city square Chowk has turned into a breeding ground for the stray dogs.

“Following the inauguration by Lieutenant Governor in August of last year, I was unable to see any of the Smart City representatives. Crores of rupees were invested for its beautification, but sadly, I believe that a large portion of that money was wasted,” Adil Hussain, a resident of nearby Koker Bazar told ‘Kashmir Images’.

The attractive fountains, he claimed, have never been put to use beyond the first few weeks of its inauguration, while stray dogs make heavy use of the concrete and wooden chairs installed there for the visiting people.

The area’s poor cleanliness is another reason contributing to its current unsightliness.

“Visitors and residents used to swarm this location after its inauguration, but blame it on the government’s careless approach, it is no longer the case now,” said Younis Wali, a Court Road resident.

Ovais Ahmad, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Srinagar Smart City Ltd., could not be reached for comment despite many attempts. However, a senior official promised that the matter would be thoroughly looked into and that any shortcomings on the side of the agency would be corrected.

As the stray dogs enjoy a sound siesta in the famed Lal Chowk, the broken ornate alphabets of #Lal Chowk, where people used to take selfies, crave attention.Photos/Majid Kapra

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