Editorial: Speeding up development

Srinagar: The importance of Srinagar city cannot be ignored. The city is important as it has its own historic and economic background that has ensured our interactions with ancient civilizations.

The Srinagar city is of utmost importance in today’s world as the city witnesses a maximum number of footfall during the entire year. From tourism point of view the city has been and is serving as a face of the entire state. Therefore, the city needs to be upgraded and planned on scientific and modern lines to remain the focal point for attracting tourists and visitors to this place.

Keeping in mind the modern day requirements, the government has now decided to take up a project regarding  construction of walkway and cycle track from Nehru Park to Foreshore road on a fast track basis so that locals as well as tourists can benefit from the eco-friendly project at the earliest. The government also wishes to set a timeline for the execution of the vital project.

Though the project will go a long way in adding to the beauty of the Dal Lake and also helping people commute in a eco-friendly way, the project is still in its infancy as lot of paperwork and planning will have to be ensured to finalise the project.

Srinagar city has already been declared as part of the Smart City proposals. Therefore, projects like this one have to be worked out in tandem to ensure the city develops on scientific lines. As of now the city’s basic needs like roads and drainage are in a mess.

According to Smart City draft proposal, only 33% area across the city is covered by trunk sewage network. The proposal prepared by the Jammu and Kashmir government under the Central Government’s mission to develop and modify Srinagar city was initiated in June 2017 and the government has always received wide complaints for lack of proper drainage system across the city.

Even the draft proposal of the master plan 2035 includes various projects like city beautification and urban renewal, restoration of heritage tourism, Baba Demb Lake rejuvenation, beautification of the Jhelum waterfront, upgrading historic markets, urban mobility, dredging the river and removing the silt, sewage and sanitation, embankments and area illumination along riverbanks, disaster management and environment protection and improvement of the Jhelum ghats to develop Srinagar on modern lines.

Besides, a Metro Train and Smart City projects, costing Rs 18,781 crore, are in the pipeline for city. The Metro train projects at an estimated cost of Rs 15,881 crore and Smart city projects at an estimated cost of Rs 2,900 crore are being worked out and the government plans to initiate action on these projects soon.

However, one important aspect that has escaped the eyes of the planners is the Old City. The Shahrie Khaas which has been the epicenter of our existence needs immediate attention. The Old city has over the years developed various lacunas which need immediate redressal. Though the funds under the smart city and other projects will be made available in abundance our planners will have to walk an extra mile to ensure that Old city gets its due share of development.  





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