It was like visiting old memories when Chief Minister on Sunday stated that Srinagar was face of Jammu and Kashmir State. This ancient city that has been capital of Kashmir for thousands of years and crucible of great civilizations during all three major periods of history namely Buddhists, Hindu and Muslim has suffered worst during past six decades. This city of blue lagoons, sparkling lakes, waterways and monumental ornate architecture that had earned it place of distinction amongst the most beautiful cities in the world suffered for lack of imagination of administrators and apathy of the ‘constituency biased’ political leadership. The city that turned poets lyrical, and enraptured kings and queens is not sinking but has sunk to the depths of no retrieving. True, the government some years back had engaged a very senior town planner for drafting a new Master Plan for development of the city in keeping with its growing needs and at the same time maintaining its historical character but what has been most ironic that despite the new plan having been approved a decade back it is yet to be executed. Now for many years there has been tall talk about restoring the beauty of the most historical part of the city to its glory; the glory of the period of the Sultans when it was center of scholarship, learning and power. But so far no scheme has been executed. The monuments in this part of city, testimony to the glorious past, are one after another crumbling; and the institutions that have immensely contributed in shaping the personality of Kashmir are vanishing. Notwithstanding figures substantiating that the city of Srinagar was not getting its due in allocation of funds a substantial amount is earmarked for its development but what defeats the purpose is the lack of accountability in the development departments. The development scenario in Srinagar can be at best described as dismal and disappointing. It has been but for the lack of monitoring at various levels that it takes donkeys years for completion of smaller building and not to speak of bigger projects. The mini-flyover at Hyderpora that the Chief Minister mentioned is just the tip of an ice berg. Scores of projects reach half-way and are allowed to crumble under the pretext of paucity of funds. It may be reiterated that the ambitious Circular Road Project was started in 1978. It was envisaged improving road networking in the city. The project even after thirty years, when costs have escalated by by many folds has not been completed. Had this project, that included construction of nine roads, widening of sixteen roads, building of four new bridges and setting up of a couple of housing colonies, been executed within the stipulated period it would have prevented the city from being plunged into chaotic traffic congestions. This is not only the fate of the circular road, so is true about many other roads in Srinagar which after spending of Crores have been abandoned half way.
The Chief Minister during the District Development Board meeting was told that out of approved outlay of Rs. 4547.24 crores, Rs. 2898.30 crores against the availability of Rs. 3934.82 crores had been spent on various development schemes. It was revealed that Under PWD sector, 238.3 kms road length has been blacktopped under all sectors while 19 bridges have been taken up for the execution. One may not doubt the figures but fact of the matter is that Srinagar roads have earned the dubious distinction of being one rain road. Most of the roads after black topping survive only one rain. Many roads were repaired and macadamized during last summer and most of these roads have failed to survive one winter. The government needs to probe into sub-standard material used in the construction of these roads.
It is no secret that execution of works is delayed under a design as it provides an opportunity to the administrators for looting bigger slices of public money. If government institutes proper inquiry for looking into delay in the execution of projects like fly over at Hyderpora and punishes the culprit it will help in creating a better atmosphere for development in the state.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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