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Smart City Projects

Post by on Wednesday, June 8, 2022

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While laying foundation stone of various projects under Srinagar Smart City on Monday, the Honorable LG Manoj Sinha reiterated the fact that Smart City Projects will restore values of art and cultural heritage of J&K. He also said that the aim of the new projects is to ‘transform Srinagar from crowded city to one of the most pedestrian, cycle-friendly cities in country’.  These are promising statements and must be appreciated.  We all know that 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. The government’s interest in restoring cultural heritage in these projects is encouraging. These projects are not only related with past but have potential to be economic centers. However, the aim shouldn’t be solely financial, but to improve the state of preservation substantially, to ensure the long term consolidation of these sites, to increase the capacity in the conservation of cultural heritage, and to create a basis for the inception of cultural tourism.  Now the UT has taken a resolve to preserve its heritage and historical monuments, it is important that it shouldn’t be confined itself to a few projects only. Furthermore, development shouldn’t come at the cost of environment or by destroying those monuments which are archival. If we have to preserve our heritage and culture something innovative must be done. With the focus on making Srinagar pedestrian, cycle-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. 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. For making Srinagar a smart city, the contribution of people is also very 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 responsibilities and helping government and the concerned authorities in making Srinagar as one of the beautiful cities in the world.

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