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Slow pace of Smart City works pester Srinagarites

Sluggish road repairs hit vehicular movement, take toll on commuters
12:37 AM May 27, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
slow pace of smart city works pester srinagarites

Srinagar, May 26: People have expressed concern over the failure of authorities to expedite work on Smart City works especially dilapidated roads.


The ongoing prolonged Smart City work has caused significant inconvenience to residents, particularly in Downtown areas.


Numerous roads are in poor condition, with dug-up drains, potholes, and exposed manholes posing safety threats.


Commuters report persistent bumper-to-bumper jams, making navigating the city a nightmare. "The dug-up roads dumped material, and ongoing construction has created traffic bottlenecks. We are finding it hard to navigate amid huge traffic flow; we are stuck in jams for hours," said Azhar Ahmad, a daily commuter.


Areas in Shaher-e-Khaas like Jamia Masjid, Zaina Kadal, SR Gunj, Bohri Kadal, Nalla Mar, Khanyar and Gade Kocha now wear a deserted look with roads dug up, rendering them impassable for customers with traders claiming losses due to the ongoing construction works.


"We are not against the construction but our main concern is the pace of the work. All the roads are dug up, leaving no space for customers, especially during the busy marriage season," a trader from Maharaj Gunj told Greater Kashmir.


Various ground visits over the past few weeks revealed traffic bottlenecks in Dalgate, Nowpora, Noorbagh, Parimpora, Khwaja Bazar, Khanyar, Nishat, Nawab Bazar, Karan Nagar, and Nowgam, among other areas of the city.


Commuters said that ongoing construction in Downtown, including Khanyar, has narrowed roads, creating bottlenecks. They also pointed out slow work at Dalgate Bridge by the R&B department, which has created another bottleneck at Badyari Chowk.

Meanwhile, Anuj Malhotra, General Manager of Planning at Srinagar Smart City Limited, urged the public to cooperate and be patient.

"We understand that businesses may be affected, but these efforts are for the long-term benefit of the community. Quality work takes time, and we want to ensure that the final result is durable and of high quality," Malhotra told Greater Kashmir.

He said the importance of maintaining quality to avoid future issues that might arise from rushed or substandard work.

"It shouldn't happen that we complete everything today and someone starts digging tomorrow. Quality maintenance takes time," he added.

Malhotra said that work on macadamisation has started. "We have started the work in places where our structures were absolutely clean, clear, and available, so people can see some structures being prepared soon," he said.

He said that the work is going on all night and during the day. “Double shifts are in place to ensure we meet the June 30 deadline. Our main focus is on the roads, which are crucial for the overall project,” he said.