Key infrastructural projects worth a huge Rs. 500 crore will be taken up for execution in Srinagar under the Smart City project in 2020-2021 fiscal.
From road redevelopment to development of footpaths to creation of heritage network to upgradation of historic markets to development of drainage network to creation of green spaces to setting up of street furniture to beautification of city areas through urban art — a wide assortment of developmental projects will form a part of this cache being taken up to bridge infrastructural gaps in Srinagar.
Hosts of smart projects offering smart solutions aimed at improving service deliveries will also be taken up for execution as part of this list.
These range from installation of an intelligent traffic management apparatus to replacing public transport with electric buses as part of a larger smart transportation apparatus to installation of smart street signages and advertisement panels to development of smart schools to setting up of a network of smart libraries to development of smart healthcare mechanism to installation of smart power and water metering.
These also include setting up of an integrated command and control centre – which will act as a nerve centre for operations management, exception handling and disaster management – and a grievance redressal call centre which includes citizen engagement as an important aspect thereof.
These projects will be taken up after consultations with concerned stakeholders and the general public of Srinagar — whose suggestions and ideas would be incorporated in the planning process thereof.
In fact consultations with concerned stakeholders has already been started. This past week the Srinagar Smart City Limited or SSCL held consultations with members of various business and trade organisations — which include Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Kashmiri Traders & Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant Association, the All Kashmir Tour Operators, the FCCI-K, Shehar-e-Khas Traders Association, the Batamaloo Traders Association, KHAROF, Shikara Association and the Taxi Association.
Consultations are also being held with individual trade and economic organisations as part of this process. Such meetings have been held with some 30 organisations related to trade, business and economic development in Srinagar city.
CEO SSCL Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that to ensure participation of stakeholders becomes a permanent feature a consultative committee of stakeholders is being constituted adding that the committee will have members representing all concerned stakeholders. He said the idea is to help identify and address developmental gaps as projected by stakeholders themselves and achieve holistic development of Srinagar city.
Socio-economic organisations, NGOs and local communities will also be taken on board as part of this participation process. Meetings for consultations with them are lined up for coming weeks.
Some of these projects being taken up under the Smart City project in the 2020-21 fiscal include development of pedestrian pathways in Downtown at 31 crore rupees, development of heritage network involving retrofitting, conservation and facade improvement of buildings along Jhelum at 30 crore, development of drainage at 25 crore, development of the historic Maharaj Gunj market at 10 crore, and development of green corridor at 5 crore.
These also include setting up of street furniture, signages and urban art at 16 crore rupees, installation of smart display panels and dashboards at city intersections at 10 crore, development of a smart hawker zone at Magarmal Bagh at 5 crore, installation of smart water metering at 45 crore and smart power metering at 18 crore, procurement of electric busses at 20 crore, installation of bio-toilets at 5 crore, setting up of an integrated command and control centre at 30 crore, development of an emergency operations centre at Bemina at 10 crore, and establishment of a smart fire-fighting apparatus at 7 crore.
Dr Shahid said development of smart schools and smart health centres are already underway and will be completed and inaugurated soon.