Srinagar: Haphazard execution of Smart City projects is taking heavy toll on commuters who face immense problems to reach their respective destinations.
Commuters including students, office-goers and traders in Srinagar have been decrying simultaneous construction of Smart City Projects along MA Road, Residency Road, Polo View, Regal Chowk, and the Bund saying this has hampered their movement.
Farhan Kitab, president of the Regal Chowk traders association, said that they have been urging authorities to keep all stakeholders, especially traders in the loop. “These works have crippled trade and affected footfall of customers, but we are all for development as it is for our good. We just wanted to know the timeline and the progress updates on the work so that we will stay in the loop,” Kitab said.
The commuters, office goers, and students said that they are facing hardships and want authorities to speed up the work so that they won’t suffer.
“We already had an issue with traffic jams, and now there are multiple construction projects after each step in Lal Chowk. This leads to traffic mess on a daily basis. There are excavators, heavy machinery, dug-up roads which have crippled the city. We hope that given the rush of students in Lal Chowk due to the presence of major educational institutes here, authorities will expedite work,” said Zainab Bhat, a college student.
Meanwhile, public transport has also received a blow as the city centre has been closed. The transporters said that the projects have led to diversion of traffic, and it has also affected their routine business.
‘We are not allowed to enter the city and have to take long routes. Our cab stands are also situated in the city center, which is now inaccessible to us. We hope the major work will finish soon so that normalcy will be back in the city,” said Altaf Ahmad, a cab driver.
When contacted, the Chief Executive Officer SSCL, Athar Aamir Khan said that they are working at maximum capacity and are set to complete all the major works in Lal Chowk in 60 days.
“The major work that is crippling normal life will be finished on a priority basis. Work in Rajbagh area, MA Road, and footpaths along the Residency Road will be done on priority. It will ease traffic flow also. All the major projects will be done in the next two months, and then there will not be any problem. We will accordingly move on with finishing touches, and the whole Lal Chowk will get a facelift in a speedy way,” Khan said.