Metro projects for Srinagar, Jammu

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The government of Jammu and Kashmir is planning to have Light Metro Rail Projects for Jammu and Srinagar. In this regard a review meeting was held with MAHA-Metro with ther Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in the chair. It was given in the meeting that the Jammu Light Rail System will have a 23-kilometer length with 22 stations between Bantalab and Bari Brahmana; whereas Srinagar Light Rail System will have a 25-kilometer length which included 12.5-kilometer length from Indira Nagar to HMT Junction and 12.5-kilometer length from Hazuri Bagh to Osmanabad with 24 stations (12 stations on each corridor). Though the project is yet to be approved but official sources claim the Lt. Governor administration is vigorously pressing for it and once it gets the approval, is determined to complete the project in record time. The administration believes that the elevated Metro Rail System will not only facilitate the people but also have a positive impact on the economy and quality of life.

It goes without saying that the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu lack sustainable public transport. Both the cities have pathetic traffic management. Actually one of the major problems plaguing traffic management in Srinagar and Jammu is that the concerned government agencies have never really bothered to have what is known as prospective planning. While the number of motor vehicles has exponentially multiplied over the years, the road spaces have remained more or less static, and their condition only deteriorating with each passing day. Similarly, while the government remained busy in earning more and more money by way of registration fees and road tax from new and old vehicles, no amount of this revenue or for that matter creative intellectual input was invested in engineering good roads and arranging parking spaces. And today, the situation has reached a point where the two cities seem to be bursting due to share size of vehicular traffic.

There is too much talk about Srinagar and Jammu being developed as a smart cities. However, this talk will remain mere talk unless a system is put in place that takes care of each and every aspect that impacts the lives of city dwellers. Traffic management being one of such aspects. If traffic is not managed in an efficient way, it creates problems for everyone – from patients rushing to hospitals to students on way to schools – from government employees who need to be in their respective offices well in time, to daily workers whose every minute wasted in traffic is money wasted. One can just hope that Light Metro Rail Projects for the two cities gets the requisite approval and following that is completed within stipulated time frame. We all know that in Jammu and Kashmir deadlines are never kept and hope that while executing this ‘to be approved project’ the history is not repeated.

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