Srinagar, Dec 6: Nigeen Lake Conservation Organisation (NLCO) has decried the move of Srinagar Smart City Ltd (SSCL) to construct low-lying wooden bridges over Shalimar canal here.
In a statement, NLCO president Manzoor Ahmad Wangoo termed the move as sheer waste of funds meant for beautification of Srinagar. “It is shocking how SSCL is constructing bridges over the Shalimar canal. There was no need for such bridges. The low lying bridges are hindering movement of Shikaras from Dal Lake to Shalimar,” Wangnoo said.
“The ongoing transformation of Smart City has undoubtedly brought about commendable aesthetic enhancements to the Northern Foreshore. We extend our appreciation to the Smart City project and LC&MA for their efforts in this praiseworthy endeavor. However, amidst this positive change, there arises a matter of concern that strikes at the heart of our cherished traditions. Construction of bridges near Shalimar, though contributing to the city’s modernisation, raises apprehensions about potential threats to our rich cultural heritage,” he said.
Elaborating, he said the concern lies in the design of these structures, particularly their height, which could obstruct the passage of Shikaras, especially the larger ones. “The Shalimar gate, once graced by tourists in shikaras, stands as a testament to our historical charm. It is imperative that we carefully reassess the design of these bridges to strike a more balanced approach or better to remove them for better traffic flow,” he said.
“Our plea is not just for the preservation of tradition but also for the safety of our waterways. We urge a thoughtful consideration that ensures both traffic safety and cultural significance are preserved in harmony. It is a delicate balance that we believe can be achieved with a collaborative effort between the Smart City project, LC&MA, and the concerned citizens,” he said.
As stakeholders in the future of our Smart City, let us collectively strive for progress that respects our past. The legacy of our traditions is as vital as the progress we seek. We appeal to CEO SSCL to remove the bridges over Shalimar canal at earliest and restore free movement of Shikaras,” Wangnoo added.