Srinagar being converted into smart city at a fast pace before G20 meetings next month
After Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar was listed among the creative cities across the world by UNESCO, the state administration is busy giving a new look to the city. Srinagar is being converted into a smart city and the work is going at a fast pace. Most of the work is believed to finish before May 2023. Kashmir is hosting G20 meetings in the first week of May 2023.
Almost the whole of Srinagar city is under-construction at the moment. With over 80 construction projects going on across the city, the authorities believe that there would be major revamp of the roads, pathways, cycle tracks, commercial centres and other amenities. The authorities believe that once the work is completed, which is going to be by the end of this month, Srinagar will have a new look with more facilities and a clean environment.
The project, which has a budget of about USD 360 million, has USD 244 million crores allotted for the line departments. These departments are working in convergence with Smart City Limited on various projects. Smart City Limited on its own has a budget of around USD 100 million.
The authorities are also pushing for making the whole city specially-abled friendly. The footpaths, traffic lights are made in such a way that it would be easier for them to move. The state administration is also working on making the city walk cycle-friendly. Over 100 cycle booths have been set up across various parts of Srinagar city to allow people to enjoy the beauty of Srinagar city.
"We are heavily investing in non-motorised traffic, we are making walking and cycling spaces. We have tried to add cycling lanes, wherever it is not possible it will be shared. We have ensured to have proper standard footpaths. All the draining has been put underground. Our footpaths are 6 inches above the road surface. And every footpath has a proper tactile line in it which will guide the specially abled while they are walking on that. Entire portion of around 80 kms length, every inch has been made to the standard. The design, every footpath is just 6 inches above the road surface making it very easy for pedestrians to get on to. Footpaths are slightly wider, and people will have more space to walk, the surface of the entire footpath has been made very smooth so that there are no interruptions. We have shifted the poles to the edge and most lines have been put underground. There is a proper transition. The road crossings are extremely important, they have been properly designed," said Athar Amin Khan
Under the new developmental works, Dal Lake's front is being revamped along the Foreshore Road from Dalgate from Nishat to Naseem Bagh. This includes construction of pedestrian walkway, cycle track and viewing decks, and other projects.
However, the construction work going on across the Srinagar city has created a traffic mess across the various parts of the city. People are apprehensive that the new look of roads and pathways could turn out to be a traffic nightmare. The commercial centre of Srinagar city, Lal Chowk is also getting a facelift and the shopkeepers are hopeful that the work would be finished before the month of May which is a major tourist arrival season to the Kashmir Valley.
"It will beautify the place for sure but as far as our work is going on, it has hit us badly. We are waiting for this work to finish; the tourism season is about to begin, and we are hoping that this work is done before the month of May. Tourists start coming in the month of May and we as a business community are waiting for tourist arrival and this work to finish by the end of this month," said Bashir Ahmad, Local Businessman.
The authorities however have given assurance that everything has been done meticulously with proper planning and soon the work will be finished and a better, clean Srinagar would be ready for the locals as well as the tourists coming to the Valley.