SSCL mulls slew of projects for Srinagar

The Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) convened a marathon meeting of heads of concerned government departments to discuss the projects approved under the Smart City project in the summer capital.

They also discussed over new project proposals submitted to it by different departments and agencies for approval.

The meeting was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) SSCL (District Development Commissioner Srinagar) Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary. Heads of Departments who attended the meeting included Vice Chairman Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) and Vice Chairman Lakes & Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) B. A. Lone, Chief Engineer Public Works Department (R&B) Kashmir S. J. Pandit, Chief Engineer Jal Shakti Department (JSD) Kashmir Iftikhar Wani, Chief Engineer Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) A. J. Dar and Chief Town Planner Kashmir F. A. Khan.

Speaking on the occasion, the CEO – who is also the chairman of a committee constituted to review the impact of approved projects and to assess whether there is a need for replacement of certain projects with new projects – said that it is crucial that projects and their impact are reviewed and if required revised in order to ensure achievement of results as envisaged under the mega project.

Before an extensive discussion of new project proposals was held the meeting was informed about the completed and ongoing projects along with their details and deadlines.

Giving details of ongoing projects it was informed that these include installation of street furniture and road signages across city, development of green corridors, establishment of hawker zones, development of parking spaces at Residency Road and underneath the JCRB Flyover, development of cycle tracks, smart street lighting across city, smart water metering, ICCC-Smart Data Center (for civic services, traffic management and disaster response integration).

It was informed that ongoing projects also include setting up of GIS (property development approval) system, grievance management emergency response system, Discover Srinagar One-Stop mobile application, development of bio-toilets at major nodes, upgrading of entire fire services apparatus of city, installation of 10 new Variable Message Display panels and beautification of spaces underneath the JCRB Flyover.

It was informed that these among other ongoing projects are under execution at an estimated cost of 140 crore rupees.

The meeting was informed that the Grievance Management Cell (Community Engagement) will be inaugurated on February 20. It was also informed that work on the Smart Data Centre and the Integrated Command & Control Centre is going on in full swing and is expected to be completed soon. The CEO instructed the concerned departments to coordinate with the SSCL and the Bharat Electronic Limited which is executing the project to ensure it is completed by its deadline of 31 March.

Detailed discussions were held on important projects like smart water metering, intelligent traffic management system and development of parking spaces and hawker zones to decongest roads aimed at enabling smooth traffic movement in the city.

With regard to the smart water meter project the CEO SSCL said that further funding of 50 crore rupees is being made towards the project to cover the entire city. The funding will be in addition to 45 crore rupees already provided to JSD for the project. The meeting was also informed that another hawker zone will be established in the city soon. It was informed that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been asked to submit a list of concerned hawkers.

During the meeting the Chief Engineer Jal Shakti Department, the VC SDA and LAWDA and the Joint Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation proposed various projects for funding under Smart City in Srinagar.

The projects proposed on the occasion and which are under consideration of the SSCL include community facilitation centres, libraries and gymnasiums at various places across city, construction of cycle track with footpath and green belt from Bemina Bypass Chowk to Shalteng, equipment of Old SMG and Sheikhbagh multilevel parkings with smart facilities, development of transport nagar connected to fruit mandi on Bypass, and upgrading of facilities at Parimpora Bus Stand (proposed by SDA); development of solid waste source collection & transportation system, development of pedestrian paths, cycle tracks, parks and junctions and landscaping at identified locations across city, and development of stormwater drainage network (proposed by SMC). Besides development of parks, parking slots, drinking water points and bio-toilets at identified spots around Dal and Nigeen lakes (proposed by LAWDA); and development of water filtration plants, installation of real-time water quality monitoring systems for entire Srinagar and establishment of helpdesk for water related issues and e-billing facility (proposed by JSD).

Dr Shahid Iqbal while speaking on the occasion asked the heads of these departments to submit Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for these projects proposed to the SSCL for approval under the Smart City project. He said those projects having a DPR under 50 crore rupees will be taken up in the next board meeting of SSCL for approval depending on priority.

New projects exclusively of the SSCL were also discussed during the meeting and approved for further consideration and preparation of DPRs. These projects include a state-of-the-art lab for testing sludge parameters and solid waste & building material testing lab at Achen dumping site, recycling plant for polythene generated in the city and elsewhere, cycle sharing scheme, surveillance cameras, smart city fibre connectivity with ICCC and PCR, ICCC Building & Smart Parking Solution, RVMs, e-Governance Service as a centralised framework, and sludge digesters.

Discussions were also held on several other important projects – like redevelopment of major roads and RCC pavement in water-logging prone areas  – approved or in progress in the city under Smart City. During a discussion on smart education it was decided that out of the total 50 schools identified to be developed as smart schools 25 schools will be developed by the Education Department through R&B Department and 25 schools by the SMC.

It was informed that the district administration in Srinagar is also taking up 100 Anganwadi Centers in the city for modernisation under Smart City. The modernisation of these centres will be done on the lines of smart schools. Similarly, the primary healthcare infrastructure in the city will be modernised. It was informed that modernisation of several PHCs has been started adding that more centres will be covered thereunder.

Senior officers of various concerned departments including Chief Planning Officer Srinagar M. Y. Lone, Joint Commissioner (Works) SMC I. A. Shah, Superintending Engineer KPDCL Hilal Ahmad and Executive Engineers SDA, JSD, KPDCL and LAWDA also attended the meeting. SSCL officials including Projects Coordinator Rizwan Khurshid were also present.