In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

8 years after collapse, Maharaj Gunj fire station awaits new building

Srinagar, Sep 7: Eight years after its building collapsed, the Fire and Emergency Services station at Maharaj Gunj in the old city has not been reconstructed.
The 70-year-old station had been built by the-then Maharaja for the safety of Maharaj Gung market—the commercial centre of his times.
The market is still of vital importance to, at least, the old Srinagar. Absence of the station has rendered it vulnerable to devastation by fire.
The Vice-President Beopar Mandal, Maharaj Gung, Mohammad Yaseen Wani, said, “The land for construction of Fire Station has been allotted six years back by the-then government, but after the change in government no work has been done. The authorities have ignored the issue.”
Yaseen said there have been fire incidents during these years.
“We have suffered big losses due to the unavailability of the fire station in the area,” he said.
The shopkeepers in the market said they approached the authorities concerned many times, but in vain.
President Beopar Mandal Maharaj Gunj, Khurshid Ahmad Dalal, said, “Yesterday we went to the Deputy Director Fire and Emergency Service to know about the status of construction of the station. He told that authorities were not releasing the funds for its construction.”
Without a building of its own, the station has been merged with the one at Syed Hamid Pora, Nawa Bazar.
Mohammad Shafi, an employee at the Fire and Emergency Service station Maharaj Gung, said, “From Hamid Pora station, it is very difficult for us to reach Maharaj Gung in case of an incident. The approach roads to the market are very narrow, hampering movement of the vehicle.”
Divisional commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan told The Kashmir Monitor that they “already put the matter under consideration”.
He, however, could not give a deadline for reconstruction of the station.