Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to seal an illegal structure in Srinagar’s Natipora area. The court also directed SSP Srinagar to coordinate with the SMC Commissioner in ensuring the sealing of the structure. In Srinagar city, haphazard development and illegal constructions have given hard time to administration, as many civic problems are effected by them. In several prime commercial areas in the city, buildings have come up violating not only the city’s development plans but also the norms set up by the government. SMC orders of sealing and demolition of various structures around the city generated a huge debate in the past. It is a common scene in almost all parts of the city where people under the lieu of ‘renovation’ convert their erstwhile residential structures into commercial ones housing hotels, restaurants, shopping complexes, clinics and other sort of businesses. Permissions and constructions happen with some sort of camaraderie with the authorities and any ‘objection’ to any dimension of the building is eased out somehow. The much touted and discussed Srinagar Master Plan is something that is relegated to files and meetings. It has also come to fore that the friendly alliance between the SMC and business establishments ends at some point and SMC spurts out notices. The recent high court order, although commendable, must also be read as a slap on the corporation. The point to ponder is where SMC was when the building was being erected? Besides, what steps are being taken to put the message across to the private players who invest a huge chunk of money in such illegal structures? This investment if put into the right place and in a legal and planned framework of the city could take it to the next level in terms of infrastructure for its citizens as well as tourists. Unfortunately, successive governments turned blind eye to the far-reaching consequences of construction mania. The city has been witness to gross violations of Master Plan with culprits going scot free. One can find private hospitals and clinics, schools and coaching centres, shopping malls and other commercial enterprises coming up in residential colonies. We often find ourselves blaming former city planners for shortsightedness. The government in general and SMC in particular needs to restore faith of the masses in their dedication to make Srinagar a city of modern times, and cognizant of its richness of culture and heritage. Instead of the court taking on the corporation, the latter should do the job entrusted to it without any push.