Srinagar: The Changing City
Certain good things have happened to the City, but more needs to be done
The capital city of Srinagar is changing, and changing very fast. It now seems that the city will overcome the deficit of twenty years, which not only devastated its infrastructure but shook its foundations. Transformation can be well recognised by its citizens who lived the most turbulent years of our recent past. When we look at this changing city, it gives us an impression of hope. It reveals that its people have strength and resolve to emerge from worst times and the desire for a better, peaceful and prosperous future.
Often termed as Dead City during militancy with Security bunkers fenced with barbed wire, burnt houses and markets, ghost houses at every nook and corner of the city, the city has moved a full circle; life has returned . Look of the city is changing now and changing for good. The momentum it once lost has again been gained by it and from the rubble a new city is emerging. On the one hand we have large and stylish shopping malls, hotels offering world class services, and on the other hand the government has also come forward with initiatives that will restore the lost glory of the city.
During the two decades of militancy hardly any road widening took place, the government has now initiated the widening of many crucial roads including the Jahangir Chowk - Rambagh fly over project. As the influx of traffic has increased manifold, the extension of traffic lanes and construction of new roads has to be given the utmost priority.
The city is getting the modern feel as the traffic lights are being installed at various intersections. This step was long overdue. Managing a huge public and private transport was becoming a herculean task for the traffic police personal; it may now get regularised by installation of these traffic lights. The department also needs to take an overall review of the intersections as it had blocked a number of entry pints in the past due to mismanagement of traffic.
In the last few years a number of parking areas have been carved out in busy areas to accommodate private vehicles but govt. needs to take initiatives for multilevel parking at areas like Lal chowk, Regal Chowk, Karan Nagar & Rajbagh as in the next few years the number of private vehicles will increase at a much higher rate.
The water transport service has always been acknowledged as a viable and alternate transport option for the city as large number of areas are connected by water ways. As the govt. has initiated this service but it may not suit the commuters in terms of fares. A small boat carrying 8 people will not serve any purpose. The Govt must run boats which can carry at least 100-150 people so that the fares are affordable to common man. Govt. may even offer this sector to private players, earning some revenue from the service. This will on the one hand provide a viable and alternative transport service to the residents and on the other hand will decrease the traffic congestion to a certain level.
The street lighting has become much better and in this regard SMC has done a commendable job. Its recent lighting system installed at Budshah Bridge is really marvellous. This system needs to be adopted on all city bridges and important locations so that locals, in general, and tourists, in particular, feel the liveliness of this city.
The river side parks and Jhelum bank beautification programme has also changed the view of Jhelum. It gives a feel of cleanliness and depicts the sensitivity of citizens and govt. for preserving the water bodies . The Jehlum beautification should cover the entire city stretch and should not be restricted to certain posh localities.
The govt. also needs to rethink many structures which do not serve any purpose . The over head bridge constructed at MA Road needs to be replaced by a subway as this bridge has not served any purpose and instead has become an ugly and useless structure. The park constructed at Lal Chowk, the most important trade centre of Kashmir, has become a resting place for Dogs. Lal Chowk needs parking areas as large number of people shop in this area. This useless park is nothing but wastage of precious place in the busiest trading centre.
Accordingly this city still lacks a modern fun park for children and govt may look for an adequate space within city to construct a fun park for children on the pattern of water kingdom of Mumbai. This will provide our children a modern fun park and this will also become a huge tourist attraction. The govt may earn huge revenues out of it.
The Old Golf course, once being the pride of city is in a shambles. Govt needs to take adequate measures for its restoration and give it a modern look. A prestigious place should not go waste and its lost glory must be restored.
Despite all the good changes, the city still needs better garbage disposal and waste management system. Modern techniques need to be adopted and a comprehensive plan for garbage disposal and waste management needs to be devised.
This city has a unique identity and historical background. While moving ahead with development we need to make sure that it does not lose its identity and we preserve its rich cultural and architectural heritage. Good planning shapes good decisions. We all will be responsible for shaping this city. We will be remembered for shaping its future.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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