Srinagar : The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar on Friday said that far from acquiring a definite shape for want of proper vision and strategies, the ongoing Smart City works have only added to the miseries of traders and commuters.
Expressing concern over the sluggish pace of ‘smart city works’ across Lal Chowk and adjoining city areas, Sagar said, “The timing of the massive digging of main roads across the city is being questioned by the local traders. There has been no headway on the city center projects. Given the snails pace of work it’s evident that the authorities will fail to meet the given deadline. In the scenario, traders will have nothing to feed their families and the situation will turn dire. Earlier also the business hub of the city witnessed decreased footfall and slump in business activities during Ramzan & Eid. Tourist flow in the city center has already witnessed marked decline and those who make it to the city center find it very difficult to walk through the debris and mud. Rains that lashed the valley have brought the ongoing works to halt. It seems that construction work in Srinagar city will go beyond June and July and till then business community has to suffer.”
Lamenting the massive urban mess, the city of Srinagar finds itself in, Sagar said, “There is nothing smart about the smart city project. Projects which did not see the light of the day are smart parking, cleaning of water bodies, solid waste management, affordable housing, curbing canine menace and improving basic public utility services. We only get to see the shrinking of roads in the name of the coveted project,” he said.
“Entire city has been defaced. Roads are being choked, regular traffic jams, partial road closures have crippled the city. Commuters, office goers, traders and students continue to remain at the receiving end. Ideally the works should have been carried out in a phased manner and by taking all the stakeholders on board,” he added.
Developmental dividends of the “Smart City project” Sagar rued remain untraceable on the ground across Srinagar. “Electricity, water connectivity, and other public utility services continue to remain a distant dream for Srinagar residents. Formidable challenges in the shape of deficient health, and education-related infrastructure remain out of the ambit of Smart City project. It is becoming increasingly difficult for our people in Srinagar to feed their families due to the curtailment of ration quota at local FCCI stores. The little ration consumers get is of sub-standard quality which is driving them towards fatal diseases.” (GNS)