The black and white paint that is being consumed so hurriedly, on the main avenues of Srinagar city signals the end of six month long hibernation of the administrative machinery in Valley.
A large manpower can be seen engaged in erasing the dust and mud from footpath sills, removing blockades from the small drains running alongside the footpaths, pruning of plants on the central divider of the road from Dalgate to exhibition crossing, besides the renovation and white washing of official and residential premises of bureaucrats and law makers, and many things that had remained unattended during the last six months.
The bi-annual cycle of movement of the Durbar between Jammu and Srinagar has a corresponding attribute in the collective psyche of both the governors and the governed; with the movement of Durbar to one of the capitals begins the six-month long slumber for the little leftover chunk of administration in the other Capital. With the officialdom back in Srinagar, the six-month long slumber seems to be over and institutions of governance seem to imbibe fresh lease of life.
However this so call face-lift of city is more a matter of convention, rather a compulsion and not an effort worth appreciating towards alleviating the woes of people especially those living in Srinagar city. The management of the ever growing number of private vehicles, VIP cars, security vehicles on the streets of Srinagar particularly during morning and evening peak hours will pose a stronger challenge for a handful of traffic police personnel.
Given the limited number of parking facilities in and around city, regulating hassle free movement of traffic on the narrow roads of Srinagar will be a tough ask, given the traffic jams the city has been witnessing lately. The laying of a ‘concrete park’ in the middle of Lal Chowk from all perspectives was bereft of any common sense; the idea being an antithesis of planning.
With hopes of high tourist rush during this summer, the pathetic condition of roads, including the two important stretches of Dalgate- Shalimar and the TRC- Airport Road, the inordinate delay in the completion of works like the fly-over at Hyderpora and the commissioning of Sangermal Mall, puts a question mark over the delivery of services by the various organs of government in a credible and satisfactory manner.
While the city requires an efficient planning in the long run, the immediate necessity is to devise a working plan to manage the momentum of life on city roads, in the absence of which the city is about to witness a mess and the common Kashmiri is bound to suffer.