Post by on Wednesday, February 16, 2022
The city of Srinagar is historically as well as culturally important and, therefore, deserves proper handling. Srinagar may be turned into a smart city anytime soon as the government is trying its best to revive its pristine glory of the past. Once Srinagar city was known for its beautiful environs and cultural heritage but over the years it has been turned into a concrete jungle with rampant and unorganized constructions all around. Unfortunately, the previous governments turned a blind eye to the far-reaching consequences of construction-mania. In the past the city has also been witness to gross violations of Master Plan with culprits going scot free. As a result, one can find hospitals, coaching centers, shopping malls and other commercial enterprises coming up in residential colonies. We often find ourselves blaming former city planners for “shortsightedness.” Very often commuters stranded in a traffic jam curse the “lack of planning” behind the construction of narrow roads which are grossly insufficient for the burgeoning traffic load. The concerned authorities are struggling to compensate for this lack of planning. Maintaining a city's beauty includes more than putting fountains on key avenues or tearing down pathways in the name of road widening; it also entails sustaining basic sanitation, providing state of the art waste disposal and management system and keeping healthy standards. With the ambitious ‘Smart City’ project underway enormous amount of money is being earmarked for undoing the damage caused due to unrestrained constructions over the years. The old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds good as far as checking the illegal and unorganized structures is concerned. With the focus on making Srinagar an eco-friendly, resilient and socio-economically vibrant city, the government should also be cautious in reclaiming space for roads. Srinagar has the privilege of being a prime tourist destination especially in summers. However, the aesthetics, which holds key to the promotion of any tourist place, has been a casualty at the hands of official callousness. We have become used to dusty and garbage-littered streets. The greenery is reducing and lots of buildings are coming up. The government can learn from the dramatic transformation of Delhi from a polluted metro to a better planned and greener city. For making Srinagar a smart city, the contribution of people is vital. Without people’s active support, any ambitious project in revamping the city will fall flat. Need of the hour is to raise awareness among the people about their civic responsibility and helping government and the concerned authorities in making Srinagar as one of the cleanest cities in the world.