Intra departmental coordination is a must

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Smart City Project

There is too much talk about Srinagar and Jammu being developed as smart cities and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, during a meeting of all concerned on Thursday, has called for executing the ambitious projects expeditiously. He stressed on timely completion of the Smart City projects, and passed specific directions to the concerned officers for completion of the projects within the set timelines without any delay. He emphasized that the vision behind the ambitious projects is to transform Jammu and Srinagar into modern, sustainable and economically vibrant cities with dedicated focus on improving infrastructure and services, increasing mobility and enhancing the administrative efficiency and called for exploring every possibility to achieve the desired results and asked the concerned officers of Smart City projects in J&K to apply the learning gained from the experience of the officers of Smart City Ahmedabad Development Ltd during the implementation phase for various smart city initiatives.

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 whatever is being claimed doesn’t remain just on the paper but is implemented on the ground effectively. Take, for instance, the drainage system of Srinagar city. The city, the summer capital of Union Territory, once known as Venice of East, has the worst drainage system.  In fact there is no system in place. A little bit of drizzle, the roads, lanes and by-lanes of Srinagar turn into rivers of filthy water. There is no proper coordination between different organizations supposed to be working for the betterment of the city. Jal Shakti people will be digging some road for laying down of water pipes; R&B will be filling and concretizing it and; then again the authorities assigned the drainage would be digging it again for their purposes. This has been happening and this is happening even today. Keeping this reality in view, the Lt Governor has stressed upon the necessity of proper inter-departmental coordination and also directed the officers to get a better exposure and understanding of different aspects of Smart City projects. This coordination is key to the success of all projects including the Smart City one. The government should also explore the possibility of laying underground electric transmission lines atleast for Srinagar city. In winters, it has been experienced that during winters, the snowfall damages the above head transmission lines, polls and other infrastructure thus making people to suffer for want of electric supply. Besides, every year, crores of rupees are spent of repairs caused by the snowfall. In this backdrop, the underline transmission lines would not only help minimize electric power crisis but would save huge sums of state exchequer.

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