The Bold Voice of J&K

Delay in Smart City Project in Srinagar drives people crazy, normal life affected

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MASROOR AHMAD

SRINAGAR: The Smart City Project mission in India was introduced in June 2015 and the then Urban Development Minister M. Vankaya Naidu had assured the people that there would be 100 Smart cities in next five years, equipped with the latest technologies, concepts and international level road concept.
Srinagar city is one of the 100 cities that were selected for the Smart City Project. The Project was aimed at providing better infrastructure to residents of Srinagar, but the delay in the projects has badly affected normal life in the city. Common people want to get rid of this project as this has given a tough time to the pedestrians and transporters.
Everyday issues such as traffic jams, accidents and patients dying on roads have been making headlines. The commuters in Srinagar said that traffic jams due to pothole-ridden roads and dug-up roads have been a major issue.
They said that during peak hours, the issues get worse as office goers and students rush towards their respective destinations.
“I have been avoiding travelling in my four-wheeler and rely on two-wheeler due to the bad condition of roads and traffic jams. The roads are in shambles and the issue is not at one stretch which can be solved by diversions, the issue is there in the majority of the Srinagar roads which is making us helpless,” said a commuter.
The commuters in Nowpora, Khanyar, Nawab Bazar, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Kaksarai, Kara Nagar, Jehangir Chowk, and other areas said that multiple projects of roads, pathways, drainage, and other infrastructure are going on at a slow pace, taking a toll on them.
“In addition to huge potholes, the roads in the area are dug up, but the work is going at a snail’s pace. We want SSCL authorities to ensure that contractors complete the project swiftly so that we don’t suffer. This area has become a major traffic bottleneck, and essential services, including ambulances, are stuck in traffic jams,” said a local from downtown.
The commuters in Nawab Bazar, Karan Nagar, also said that the ongoing work on the roads and footpaths is not being executed swiftly, which is crippling traffic.
“Only a few days back, a patient was readmitted because of the bad road near SMHS Hospital. Another one died on Thursday while being stuck in traffic jams in the Safa Kadal area. The issue is now becoming life-threatening, and as commuters, we want completion of work, not extension of deadlines,” said another commuter.
In addition to Smart City work, commuters in Dalgate said that the extended work on Dalgate Bridge by the R&B Department has been going on for a long time.
They said that the traffic coming from downtown has been crippled. Traffic officials have been saying that these issues have been affecting traffic flow and its management.
Once these construction works, including in downtown and Dalgate, are complete, there will be a major change on the ground. Over these months, numerous projects have been going on in the context of road construction, footpaths, and bridges,said traffic officials.
The commuters said that on the ground, there is no respite despite the passage of a month since the directions were passed by higher authority.
CEO SSL said that they would ensure the timely completion of projects so that people do not suffer.
“At many spots, we are ensuring that work goes on 24/7, and we are continuously monitoring the work to ensure that the least inconvenience is caused to locals and commuters. Due to weather, some road work was hindered in Srinagar, and the same will be done in time. We will ensure that roads are completed on a priority basis so that traffic issues can be addressed,” he said.

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