Srinagar: With the G20 tourism working group meeting set to take place in Srinagar, the city has got a significant makeover in preparation for the high-profile international event. In anticipation of the event, the city has undergone extensive renovations and upgrades to its infrastructure and amenities.
Major roads have been repaved, new streetlights installed, and public spaces beautified with new landscaping and artwork.
The Poloview Street, one of Srinagar’s busiest commercial areas, has been given a complete makeover.
The street has been made completely pedestrian and wire free.
The redeveloped street has pedestrian walkways, ramps, and tiles for specially-abled people as well, besides having separate underground sewerage and drainage networks, conservation and heritage facade improvement of buildings, public conveniences, and public bicycle sharing facilities.
“The street used to be so congested and chaotic, but now it’s a pleasure to walk around here. Now it has become fully pedestrianised and more and more people are coming here now,” said Sajad Ahmad, a local.
Srinagar Smart City Project Chief Engineer Iftikhar Kakroo told Greater Kashmir that the projects under Smart City for the G20 summit had been completed.
“The four projects are M A Road, Poloview, Residency Road and Jhelum Riverfront. All the four projects have been completed with one side of the Jhelum Riverfront to be completed soon,” he said.
Kakroo said that a lot of new development works had been done on the MA Road.
“The road now has an uninterrupted pedestrian movement and uniform carriage. Keeping in view the landscaping, we have developed on-street parking, sewer lines, storm water drains, good riding surfaces, disposal of solid waste, and disposal of rainwater as well,” he said. “Besides that, underground communication lines, rationalised power lines, and junctions have been improved and intelligent traffic management systems have been put in place.”
Kakroo said that to make the city more liveable, the Jhelum River Front from Lal Mandi to Zero Bridge had been developed aesthetically.
“Though the left side of the Riverfront has been completed, the work on the right side is still on and will be completed before the G20 summit,” he said. “The main attractions of the Jhelum Riverfront are cycling tracks, cafes, ice-cream parlour, and selfie point besides other things.”
Kakroo said that the illumination, plantation, massive landscaping, upgradation of road, ramps, and walkways have been added to the Jhelum Riverfront.
“There will be coffee shops and furniture so that people can enjoy themselves,” he said.
Earlier, CEO Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) Athar Aamir Khan said that the entire smart city related works were prioritised in the wake of the scheduled G20 event here, these had been either completed or were on the verge of completion.
He said that maximum works like the sprucing up of airport road and flyover, illumination of city, wire-free and exclusively pedestrian Polo View market have been fully completed while a stretch of M A Road has also been completed.
Srinagar is one of the cities selected by the government for development under the Smart Cities before G20 meetings, which aims to focus on improving infrastructure, services, and quality of life for citizens through the use of technology and data.