Several proposals for putting in place smart services including smart infrastructure and smart facilities aimed at facilitating instant and hassle-free access to public services were approved for execution at the 4th Board of Directors (BoD) meeting of the Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) held Tuesday under the chairmanship of the Principle Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department Dheeraj Gupta.
Extensive discussions were held on all proposals put before the board by CEO Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary for approval during the meeting. Several DPRs were approved for execution whereas several others were accepted in principle and asked to be put before the board after re-evaluation and value-addition.
Some of the proposals approved or accepted for execution during the meeting include establishment of smart healthcare facilities at six identified health centres, upgrading of 25 government schools as smart schools with state-of-the-art facilities, establishment of 133 smart bus stops with multiple facilities around the city, development of a cycle track, conservation of three heritage shrines, upgrading of Maharaj Gunj historical market, redevelopment of Yarkand Serai at Safakadal, development of space underneath the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh (JCRB) flyover and setting up of smart hoardings and signages at over 100 identified locations across the city.
These projects are being taken up under different heads including renewal of urban facade, improved urban mobility, revitalisation of heritage and culture tourism, rejuvenation of artisan clusters and historic markets, conservation of existing shrines and introduction of e-governance services.
The board was informed that the project proposed for development of the space underneath the JCRB flyover includes two components including beautification by way of illumination and greening of most bays and setting up of parking slots at some of the bays. The board approved the beautification component of the proposal and asked to study and discuss the feasibility of setting up parking bays with a transport consultant and the traffic department and come back to the board.
The meeting also approved the proposal for redevelopment of the Yarkand Serai located on the Jhelum bund at Safakadal. It was informed that the project is being funded under convergence in association with the Tourism department with equal shares of funding. The development of the Serai which will serve as a boutique craft market for tourists and traders from outside the state is aimed at revitalisation of heritage and cultural tourism in Srinagar.
The CEO SSCL was asked to fix the timeline for completion of the project and take it up with the tourism and culture departments and explore how it could be best utilised for reviving the cultural tourism it is aimed at.
The proposal for upgrading of historical markets in old Srinagar city was also put before the board for approval during the meeting. The board was of the view that the said markets should be taken up one at a time instead of all at once so that their completion can be ensured from available funding and approved upgrading of Maharaj Gunj market at first.
The SSCL was asked to consult with experts from outside the state and submit a comprehensive DPR for development of this historical market adding that funding was not an issue at all.
The meeting also discussed the proposal for setting up hoardings and signages at over 100 different identified locations across the city. The board decided that the CEO SSCL will finalise their specifications and design and bring it to the board for approval. It was informed that the said hoardings and signages which include smart ones will provide information about places and locations aimed at facilitating hassle-free identification and knowledge thereabout.
The board also approved the proposal for conservation of three heritage places of worship including Raghunath Mandir at Fateh Kadal, St. Luke’s Church at Drugjan and Imambara at Hassan Abad. It was informed that two of the total five such structures being taken up in the first phase of the conservation of existing shrines project have already been completed adding that the remaining six mandated heritage shrines will be taken up in the second phase of the project aimed at revitalisation of heritage and cultural tourism.
Other proposals put before the board and approved for taking up in the meeting include establishment of smart healthcare at six identified health centres and development of 25 government schools as smart schools with all modern and state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.
The board authorised the CEO SSCL to approach the Education department and request that the said schools be allowed to change their names and make other changes in their administrative functioning as required.
The proposal for establishment of 133 smart bus stops with multiple facilities around the Srinagar city was also put before the board. The board observed that smart bus stops was the need of the hour and asked the SSCL to come up with a well-studied proposal and bring it before the board in a month’s time for approval.
The meeting also emphasised the need for the soonest possible engagement of the Master System Integrator or MSI for implementation of the Integrated Command and Control Centre or ICCC and e-Governance based smart city solutions in the SSCL.
Several other decisions were also taken during the meeting. The board also approved delegation of powers to the CEO SSCL to take decisions involving expenditure of up to 10 crore rupees aimed at smooth routine functioning of the company.
Dheeraj Gupta while speaking on the occasion asked the SSCL to review the details of all proposals projected under the Srinagar smart city project and see if these require value-addition. He said the aim of the smart city project is to increase efficacy of public services adding that all aspects from processing to IT-management must be covered there under.