Political secretary to chief minister Omar Abdullah, Tanvir Sadiq, on Tuesday stressed the need to end curfew and shutdown culture in Srinagar city for its prosperity.
"Sher-e-Khas has borne the brunt of curfew, crackdowns and stone pelting. Business suffered tremendously because of strikes. This needs to stop for a prosperous Srinagar in particular and the state in general," said Sadiq.
Sadiq is first senior National Conference (NC) leader to raise ante against separatists' shutdown calls and the authorities' repeated curfew in the old city.
Srinagar witnessed curfew-like restrictions on most occasions this year, which mainly include call for marches issued by the separatists. Most shutdown calls over human rights issues were followed by curfew-like restrictions by the authorities.
On several occasion, the authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions repeatedly this year as a preventive measure.
Sadiq's salvo against curfews and shutdowns come after he held interactions with various delegations of artisans, weavers and small scale businessman from downtown Srinagar.
"While Srinagar is the heart of Kashmir, the Shahr-e-Khas is the heart of Srinagar, but this heart has been ailing with many problems that need to be cured by all of us," said Tanvir.
He said the downtown of the city has so much to showcase. "It is a mixture of heritage buildings, fort, lakes, riverways etc. We should showcase the beauty of down town," he said, while stressing the need to have all the shrines of the area projected for pilgrim tourism.
Sadiq said the Omar Abdullah led government wants to see the change in the people of Shahr-e-Khas and its dwellers.
"With the launch of Artisans Credit Card Scheme (ACCS), more than 70,000 artisans of the Srinagar district, associated with handicrafts and handlooms, were benefited from this scheme and providing 40,000 modern looms to the artisans free of cost was a huge step" said Tanvir.