Once shopping hub, Sgr’s famed Handicraft Market wear deserted look

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Once being the first choice of shoppers, Srinagar’s historic Government Central Handicraft Market is wearing a deserted look today.

Although there are a total of 125 shops in this market, only a few are open. The shopkeepers say that ten percent of the shops in the market also belong to the Pandit community, but they are closed.

Some shopkeepers said that this market was destroyed by fire twice and the situation got bad due to floods, but no compensation from the government was given.

A shopkeeper said, “There was a time when we didn’t get time off from work and today nobody comes here. There are goods worth lakhs of rupees in the shops but there are no buyers. We are at the mercy of Almighty.”

He further said, “The JK administration wants to increase the rent but we don’t agree with them. It is becoming difficult to arrange two meals a day and they want to increase the rent. They should take steps to restore the vibrancy of this market. Like Nishat and Shalimar, this historic market should also be made a tourist spot, then we can have something.”

In this regard, senior officials of the handicrafts department said that they were assured that “the matter will be looked into provided the shopkeepers cooperate with us”.

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