City Issues

City Issues

All line departments of Srinagar have been instructed to propose ideas and projects that will redress the city’s varied problems and bridge its shortfalls andasked to prepare themselves for what was described as determined efforts aimed at making Srinagar vibrant as it deserves. This is a welcome initiative for multiple reasons and given that it pertains to Srinagar, which is the centre of gravity of Kashmir, it becomes all the more poignant and significant. Our city is beset by problems of a functional, practical and even conceptual nature which are becoming graver by the day. Congestion, density of various and assorted natures, lack of cleanliness, traffic issues, are some of the salient issues that are the most egregious ones. All these need redressal. Srinagar city is also facing underdevelopment at a range of levels that then redounds negatively to the inhabitants of the city. So, broadly speaking and in terms of the city’s needs, the administration’s initiative is a good, prudent and welcome one especially if it ameliorates the problems and issues of the people. But, the problem lies not in initiatives but also taking these to the conclusion in terms of bringing relief to the people. It has been observed in the past that while initiatives have been conceived and devised but these flounder on the rocks of corruption, lack of will and inertia. It is hoped that the initiative in contention does not go the same way. Srinagar city is facing massive issues of a structural and functional nature that is making it almost burst at its seams. If these issues fester and are left unattended, then the time might not be far off when the city will morph into a massive urban agglomeration resembling a dump. This alarming scenario needs to be pre empted and prevented from panning out. And it can be done not by mere piecemeal approaches but by a holistic, multidimensional approaches that focus on linkages between policies, issues and approaches. All this calls for a paradigm shift in urban planning, design and the leeway and latitude accorded to market forces. This, in turn, needs to be complemented by, prudent project management, clean execution and implementation, free from corruption and other blemishes. Srinagar city needs to and must be restored to pristine glory that reflects not only its essence but also reflects the pristine beauty of Kashmir itself. This needs to be done on an urgent and priority basis lest delay render the problem so acute that it becomes irremediable.