Srinagar, Jammu cities need facelift

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There finally is some good news for the inhabitants of twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu as the UT administration has approved a proposal to set up Elevated Light Rail System (ELRS). The approval to the Rs 10,559 crore project was granted by the Administrative Council of UT with a intention that an efficient urban transport system including Mass Rapid Transportation System (MRTS) is essential for inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth process. The Elevated Light Rail Systems have been conceived for Srinagar and Jammu cities to provide best-in-class mobility in terms of safe, reliable, convenient, cost effective and sustainable public transport system that would not only facilitate easy and quick movement of people but also have a positive impact on the economy and quality of life in these cities. The Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) in Jammu will have one corridor from Bantalab to Bari Brahmana with a total length of 23 kilometers, while the LRTS in Srinagar will have two corridors, one from Indira Nagar to HMT Junction and second from Usmanabad to Hazuri Bagh, with a total length of 25 kilometers, the spokesman said.

It is indeed a step that was need in both the cities where transportation has become nearly impossible given the congestion, bad roads and too many vehicles. It has always been a nightmare to drive on the streets of Srinagar. The constant traffic jams are impacting all spheres of life. Lack of ample parking slots in Srinagar are adding to the massive traffic mess. The official assertion that the new projects would have expected ridership of 2-2.6 lakh by 2024 which is expected to increase upto 5.42 lakh by 2044 in each city and the project will be completed  by December 2024. This gives some hope to the commuters but only if the administration shuns away the traditional lackluster attitude and improves the work culture. We have been hearing about making Srinagar and Jammu smart cities. However, nothing of the smartness has been still witnessed in these twin cities. Therefore Elevated Light Rail System would be a test for the administration and how the work is executed would decide that whether peoples’ dream of smart cities would be fulfilled.

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