Making Srinagar a better place
The Lieutenant Governor administration has taken the Smart City project of Srinagar seriously and is busy inaugurating public utility and developmental projects to make the dream come true. On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated and laid foundation stones for scores of such projects worth Rs 26.6 crore being carried out under prestigious Srinagar Smart City project. The projects include strengthening of Fire Safety and Emergency Response System costing Rs 6.5 crore; Rs 4 crore worth project for LED lighting system of three bridges – Abdullah bridge, Foot bridge and Budshah bridge – on Jhelum river including illumination of bridges and bund besides development of pathways, kiosks and painting of house-boats. The Lt Governor also inaugurated 50 water ATMs setup at different locations of the City costing Rs 2 crore and also laid foundation of various City beautification projects worth Rs 10 crore which include beautification of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh Flyover, LED lighting at different places, parking space for 320 vehicles, 3D painting, one public park and 10 open gymnasia, besides greening and beautification of road medians. He also laid foundation for Rs 4 crore worth Smart Vendor Hawker Zone project at Jehangir Chowk to provide space to 250 vendors.
While these steps are appreciable and would result into a major push transforming Srinagar city, there are certain basic issues that plague the city and need to be taken care of. Need is to put in place an effective and efficient system 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. There needs to be a proper inter-departmental coordination as this coordination is key to the success of all projects including the Smart City one.