Jammu and Kashmir government, through its continuous endeavors under the umbrella of Smart Cities Project, is employing all the resources to develop Jammu and Srinagar cities into world class modern, sustainable and vibrant cities.
Pertinently, Smart Cities Mission was launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on June 25, 2015, for development of 100 Smart Cities across the country. Under the Mission, which is an innovative and new initiative aimed at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life of people, both the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir were selected by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the third round of competition held in the month of June 2017.
Recently, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, after launching new smart city projects said that the new projects, once completed will strengthen urban infrastructure, improve city services, public aesthetics, ease of living and provide a clean and sustainable environment for the citizens.
Sinha observed that Srinagar smart city project has been structured with a clear focus on improved urban governance, unlocking of latent creativity and vitality of this historical city. He maintained that his administration is taking effective steps to accelerate the mission for inclusive and sustainable growth in the cities and issued explicit directions to the concerned officials to ensure completion of the projects within the stipulated timelines.
According to official figures, 276 magnificent projects of economic importance have been approved in twin cities to bring remarkable transformation and significantly improve the quality of life of people.
For Srinagar city, the government envisions to transform Srinagar into an eco-friendly, resilient and socio-economically vibrant city that celebrates its natural and cultural heritage creating harmony and opportunities for all under Smart City Mission.
Srinagar Smart City aspires to leverage its natural and cultural heritage/tourism through innovative and inclusive solutions, enhance the quality of life for its citizens. Besides, EV charging stations, smart street lighting, multi-level parking, sports infrastructure (3 stadia and 5 schools), water transport system in Jhelum river, installation of ornamental LED lighting around Dal-lake, have been started under smart city mission in Srinagar. Development of Pathways/Kiosks along Jhelum river Bund is one of the projects which has been completed in Srinagar, so far.
“Traditional Devri stones have been used on the pathways. Riverbanks were developed to enhance water capacity and make them aesthetically pleasing. Devri stone pathway is to create a sole pedestrian space free from local traffic and promote health and well being of citizens. Aesthetic embankment and pathways together would enrich local tourism and promote health & well being of citizens,” an official said.
Other projects which have been completed in Srinagar are Beautification along Jhelum Bund, Revetment and Embankments along River Banks, Improvement of Ghats along Jhelum, Area Illumination along River banks, Pedestrian Walkways and Footpaths, Boardwalks, walkways and cycle tracks (Chounthe Koulle – Behind J&KBank Hdqtrs), Boardwalks, walkways and cycle tracks, (Nallah–i–Mar and Brari Nambal) and Upgradation of Historical Markets Phase I (Maharaj Gunj).
Similarly in Jammu, ramp-based multi car parking has been constructed at a cost of Rs 201.66 crore at General Bus Stand with capacity of 80 buses and 1312 cars. Other projects which have been completed are Reverse Vending Machine, Refuse Compactor, Two Bin Segregation Dust Bins, GPS enabled Vehicles for waste collection, City Chowk Parking and Smart Bus Stop.
These new initiatives will cater to the needs of the people of J&K with a vision of evolving them through the use of modern IT and other interventions enabling seamless information access and better service delivery.
Notably, Srinagar Smart City hosted the 5th National Smart Cities Virtual Conclave in partnership with GovConnect! in November which witnessed discussions and idea-sharing on building smart, resilient and sustainable cities with participants from across the country.
The digital delivery of urban citizens services has been started to ease the process of availing the services of government departments in twin cities. The services included Building Permission System, issuance of Non-Objection Certificates for commercial activities, birth and death certificates and corrections.
Under Smart City Mission, the vision for Jammu city is “Transforming Jammu into a sustainable and economically vibrant city with a focus on tourism, quality of life and trade by leveraging its heritage and location.
Building of Tawi riverside, an ambitious project for the city of temples, marked a turning point for JSCL. The project will improve its overall appearance and provide new opportunities for tourism and economic development in Jammu city. Besides, completion of work on Tawi Riverfront development project and the Jehlum Riverfront development project, modeled on the lines of Sabarmati waterfront, will improve the aesthetics of both cities.