SRINAGAR: The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industries-Kashmir (CCIK) have expressed its dismay over the slow pace of work on key projects in the city castigating the cosmetic makeover being witnessed under Srinagar being converted into a Smart City.
In a statement it has said that it is quite unfortunately, nothing is visible in a big way as advertised by the administration except for taking in hand some minor repair works in few markets like putting up sign boards of shops in the Shaher-e-khas.
It furthers said that the general public was given the impression that the system of drainage, sewerage and other public utilities would be modernized and brought at par with other metropolitan cities. To our dismay things have gone from bad to worse. The officials at the helm of affairs have, so to say, sort of created a few areas which have resulted in a ugly mole on the face of the city.
One such example is the Bailey bridge constructed on the main road approaching Boulevard from the main city. This has resulted in massive traffic jams and a journey which would otherwise take 10 to 15 minutes now takes 40 to 45 minutes. The other is the footpath on the bank of Dal Lake from Dalgate onwards. The road which has caved in at the start of the Boulevard has not been repaired for the last two months and is now standing as an ugly spot creating a bad impression with the tourists and public at large.
The footpath has also been repaired in a manner which is poorly planned. There is hardly a space for two people to walk together where six people could easily be accommodated.
“When we talk of a Smart City full attention needs to be given to provide basic amenities for the general public and intending tourists and visitors to the city. Right now there is not even a single place of public convenience anywhere in the city which could be of required standards,” the statements said
Right now, it is extremely difficult to ply from one place to another due to dilapidated roads. As of now, more than 50% of the areas in the city are receiving no potable water or no water at all putting the populace to deep distress. Same is the case with the electric supply, which is still curtailed on the pattern of the painful winter schedule.
With tourists and visitors coming in good numbers the hotels, guest houses, houseboats etc. are put to a great inconvenience. The menace of stray street dogs in the city which has been going on for more than two decades is getting worst by the day and this problem has not been thought of at all.
We wonder, does the Smart City mean creating a few pillars with TV screens and placing of tiles on a few footpaths? The real and meaningful Projects which were supposedly to be taken up by the in-charge officials are nowhere to be seen.