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August 01, 2019 01:30:00 |

Breather to congested city

To decongest Srinagar city, two initiatives that were repeatedly endorsed by the government have failed to pay up. They are the municipal corporation’s drives to remove encroachment from roads and footpaths, and the widening of roads in the city. While as the latter may sound utopian given the numerous bottlenecks, narrow and winding roads in the city, removing encroachment is not an undoable goal. The drives initiated by the SMC have presented some unruly scenes with the enforcement officials getting into slugfests on many occasions. In some areas the shopkeepers and vendors have become so emboldened that they dictate the terms to the officials of the corporation.  While the step taken by SMC to give the roads a breather need to be appreciated, it must be made abundantly clear to one and all that law has the final word in the city. SMC’s concern for pedestrians should be hailed; the law enforcement should be preceded by proper ground work, public awareness and involvement of civil society. It is unfortunate that even the ground staff of SMC does not know about the prescribed codes about footpaths, shops parapets, wayside heaping of consumer goods and roadside shacks serving as tea stalls. The resentment from the shopkeepers is expected as SMC has failed to issue prior information, which could have informed the vendors and hawkers about the encroachment. To impose any law or to correct any wrong in the society needs wisdom, rather than force or power. The drive should be people-friendly and intended to clear the hindrances for pedestrians to walk freely and to overcome the problem of traffic jams, which has, otherwise, turned into a big nuisance for commuters. However, the way anti-encroachment drive is conducted it looks that the aim is to deprive the people or shopkeepers of their livelihood, which isn’t the case. To make any program a success there is a way to follow, and an approach to adopt. Let there be a multi pronged policy involving awareness, involvement and enforcement to clear the hindrances from roads and pavements. It is important to generate awareness about any program that the state government or Municipal Corporation has planned to implement. There is also a need to state clearly the aims and objectives of any move or drive initiated by the government or by its agencies.  The state for that matter can use local media organizations to disseminate essential information.

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August 01, 2019 01:30:00 |

Breather to congested city

              

To decongest Srinagar city, two initiatives that were repeatedly endorsed by the government have failed to pay up. They are the municipal corporation’s drives to remove encroachment from roads and footpaths, and the widening of roads in the city. While as the latter may sound utopian given the numerous bottlenecks, narrow and winding roads in the city, removing encroachment is not an undoable goal. The drives initiated by the SMC have presented some unruly scenes with the enforcement officials getting into slugfests on many occasions. In some areas the shopkeepers and vendors have become so emboldened that they dictate the terms to the officials of the corporation.  While the step taken by SMC to give the roads a breather need to be appreciated, it must be made abundantly clear to one and all that law has the final word in the city. SMC’s concern for pedestrians should be hailed; the law enforcement should be preceded by proper ground work, public awareness and involvement of civil society. It is unfortunate that even the ground staff of SMC does not know about the prescribed codes about footpaths, shops parapets, wayside heaping of consumer goods and roadside shacks serving as tea stalls. The resentment from the shopkeepers is expected as SMC has failed to issue prior information, which could have informed the vendors and hawkers about the encroachment. To impose any law or to correct any wrong in the society needs wisdom, rather than force or power. The drive should be people-friendly and intended to clear the hindrances for pedestrians to walk freely and to overcome the problem of traffic jams, which has, otherwise, turned into a big nuisance for commuters. However, the way anti-encroachment drive is conducted it looks that the aim is to deprive the people or shopkeepers of their livelihood, which isn’t the case. To make any program a success there is a way to follow, and an approach to adopt. Let there be a multi pronged policy involving awareness, involvement and enforcement to clear the hindrances from roads and pavements. It is important to generate awareness about any program that the state government or Municipal Corporation has planned to implement. There is also a need to state clearly the aims and objectives of any move or drive initiated by the government or by its agencies.  The state for that matter can use local media organizations to disseminate essential information.

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