Slow pace of Smart City works takes toll on people

Slow pace of Smart City works takes toll on people
FIle: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, July 7: The Srinagar Smart City project is progressing at an alarmingly slow pace causing inconvenience to people

Most of the roads in the city have been left in a dilapidated condition, with some being dug up for the project.

This has resulted in a multitude of issues, particularly in the Downtown areas and the stretch leading from Lal Chowk to Downtown. The condition of these roads has caused great inconvenience to the citizens, with dug-up drains, potholes, and manholes posing threats to their safety.

The lack of progress is evident in various areas, including the renovation work of Ghanta Ghar, a historic clock tower located in the heart of Srinagar. Initially, the restoration project showed promise, but it is now plagued by delays.

Other projects which are still under construction include Improvement and Upgradation of Batamaloo Moominabad Road, Improvement and Upgradation of Batamaloo Qamarwari Road, Upgradation of Gole Market Srinagar into High Street and Jehlum Riverfront Development Right and Left Bank.

The overall progress of the Srinagar Smart City Mission has been relatively slow, with only 66 projects completed thus far, while work continues on 77 more projects.

The first deadline for the beautification of Lal Chowk was missed, with the project now expected to be completed by July 15. The footpaths from Regal Chowk to Ghanta Ghar remain incomplete. Similarly, the pending works along the Jhelum riverfront have experienced a slowdown. Even the tile work on the MA Road has cracked and caved in, exacerbating the problems faced by the people.

Nazir Ahmad, a local said that the difficulties faced during medical emergencies, where reaching the hospital on time becomes a challenge due to the poor road conditions.

General Manager of Planning at Smart City Limited Anuj Malhotra, said pending works in Lal Chowk area would be completed by July 15. “Separate deadlines have been set for other projects, such as Jahangir Chowk, the Batamaloo market, and the Downtown area,” he said.

Chief Engineer, Srinagar Smart City Project Iftikhar Kakroo, told Greater Kashmir that the project would not be affected unless there is inclement weather. He acknowledged that unfavorable weather conditions hamper the progress of the works.

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