Srinagar: The government should set up a transport authority composed of departments like the municipality, transport, roads & buildings, tourism, lakes and water bodies and allied departments so that they can think together before spending funds on street management, an urban landscape expert suggested here Monday.
Anuj Malholtra, CEO of the Centre for Green Mobility, a non-governmental technical advocacy organization, shared his suggestions at a two-day workshop, Tassawur, organised by Tourism department at SKICC.
“This can result in spending money in the right way and have a comprehensive plan for the city. They will have a vision as per which they can think together,” he said adding they can take along stakeholders and people before executing projects.
The workshop encompassing tourism, culture, architecture, urban development and the arts had several key architects, urban landscape managers and artists for their suggestions in revamping Srinagar.
Having worked in urban planning and creating innovative financial models in several Indian cities with a positive outcome, Malholtra has to his credit revamping of traffic intersections and street management in Delhi.
Stressing on an integrated approach, Malhotra’s suggestions aren’t focused on revamping alone but also provides solution for raising funds, which he said would help in building city infrastructure.
He also laid emphasis on building city around waterways. “Srinagar is surrounded by water bodies and they are the city’s lifeline. You can build most beautiful city by planning around water. Such natural resources are not available in other cities, where I worked,” said Malhotra, after his presentation.
Malhotra, who works for pushing funding and creating innovative financing models for implementing sustianable mobility projects, said the government should set up transport authority that would be a grouping of utilities such as Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Roads and Buildings, Tourism, Lakes and Water bodies’ authorities, transport department and allied departments so that they can think together before bring spending funds on street management.
Malhotra also found Srinagar facing shortage of parking spaces prompting vehicles to line up along roadsides during his two-day stay here. He said the chronic parking problem could be resolved by outsourcing delegated parking lots and roadside parking spaces. Each vehicle has to be charged for parking vehicle and the revenue collected should be spent on street infrastructure.
“In five yearss, the revenue will allow you to redo entire street infrastructure,” he said, while citing examples of revamping urban centers through digital presentation. He suggested collecting data and mapping of the city, which can pave way for good planning.
Stating that 50 percent people in the city were walking, he said, the authorities should focus on providing pedestrian infrastructure along with roads.
This includes identification of vending spaces, which otherwise have not been marked prompting encroachments of roads in Srinagar. He said the designation of vending spaces where registered vendors can be charged can be used for city infrastructure.