Town Chowk now ‘Bharat Mata Chowk’

Jammu, Mar 2: The
historic City Chowk, the commercial hub in old Jammu, was renamed as ‘Bharat
Mata Chowk’ following the passage of a resolution by the general house of the
BJP-led Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), officials said on Sunday.

The renaming of
the chowk drew mixed reactions from the people with most of them welcoming the
decision but urged the JMC to focus more on development and cleanliness rather
than changing names.

“I had moved
a resolution in the general house some four months ago demanding renaming of
the ‘City Chowk’ to ‘Bharat Mata Chowk on the popular demand of the
public,” senior BJP leader and Deputy Mayor of the JMC Purnima Sharma said

She said the
resolution was adopted and accordingly the City Chowk was renamed as ‘Bharat
Mata Chowk’.

“This place
is historic and a witness to major decisions and protests in the past. Every
year people are hoisting the tricolour on Republic and Independence days in
this chowk. There was a popular demand from the public to rename this chowk as
Bharat Mata Chowk,” Sharma said.

The starting
point of the circular road near Panjtirthi in the city was named by the JMC as
‘Atal Chowk’ in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Bharatiya
Janata Party swept the JMC polls winning 43 of the 75 wards after the Urban
local bodies elections were held in the erstwhile state in four phases from
October 8 to 16 in 2018 after a gap of 13 years.

A board with the
new name was seen erected by the JMC in the chowk, which connects four busy
markets, including the famous Raghunath Temple, Super Market, Shalimar and
Kanak Mandi.

“We welcome
the move and understand that the respect for the motherland should be in one’s
heart. The administration should focus on creation of more parking space in the
market and attracting tourists to Jammu, which has lost its charm after the
city was bypassed with the direct rail link to the famous Mata Vaishno Devi
Shrine at Katra,” a local resident said.

Joint Secretary
of Kanak Mandi market association V Gupta, however, was not impressed by the
new name of the chowk and said It should not have done because this is the
oldest residential and business area of the city.

“They placed
the board overnight without consulting the locals. This is the oldest
residential and commercial area of the city and known by the name of City
Chowk. It came as a big surprise for us,” Gupta said.

Raman Sharma,
another shopkeeper, said the market is faced with lack of enough parking space
as the customers are avoiding the market.

“We have no
issue with the changed name but there should be a focus on addressing the
problems being faced by the shopkeepers and residents,” he said.

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