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June 19, 2019 00:04:32 |

Expectations mismatch

­­ Last month Governor Satya Pal Malik inaugurated the grade separator at Tourist Reception Centre junction and the Second phase of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover after months of delays was thrown open to public. The final touches on the two projects (or segments) were rendered post-haste, as the administration knew the traffic troubles that were in the offing with the shift of the secretariat and the functioning of offices and schools in the city. Although it is premature to assess the traffic situation after the flyovers became functional, the pitfalls are already making noise in the city. Srinagar and its most congested areas continue to vex the people and there seems to be no bearing on the situation despite the government action. Obviously, the brunt will have to be faced by those officials and authorities who are responsible for the planning. If the functional aspects of the grade separator are to be evaluated, the project seems to be far off the expectations that must have come up in its planning phase. Overall, the problem appears to transcend this particular project as the entire city has become an example of half-thought and ill-conceived plans.  Once known for its beautiful environs, the city is fast turning into a concrete jungle with rampant and unorganized constructions going all around, some of them and ironically for the purpose of decongesting the city. Unfortunately, the successive governments have turned blind eye to the far-reaching consequences of construction-mania than opting for road widening which necessitates clearing the encroachments. The government on its part seems to be going for experimentation spree. We often find ourselves blaming city planners for “shortsightedness.” Very often commuters stranded in a traffic jam curse the “lack of planning” behind the construction of roads and now flyovers that are grossly insufficient for the burgeoning traffic load. The successive governments have been struggling to compensate for this lack of planning. With the ambitious road-widening project underway on some of the congested city routes (Lal Chowk), enormous amount of money has been earmarked for undoing the damage caused due to unrestrained constructions over the years.  With the focus on reclaiming space for roads, the government should also be cautious in launching new projects. The annual ritual to beautify Lal Chowk, Ghanta Ghar and its surroundings have clearly not gone well as commuters are least bothered about flower pots and flashy lights in the midst of regular snarl-ups. The administration needs to put greater emphasis on planning and preconceive different scenarios that can take the sheen off its touted plans and programs.     

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June 19, 2019 00:04:32 |

Expectations mismatch

              

­­ Last month Governor Satya Pal Malik inaugurated the grade separator at Tourist Reception Centre junction and the Second phase of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover after months of delays was thrown open to public. The final touches on the two projects (or segments) were rendered post-haste, as the administration knew the traffic troubles that were in the offing with the shift of the secretariat and the functioning of offices and schools in the city. Although it is premature to assess the traffic situation after the flyovers became functional, the pitfalls are already making noise in the city. Srinagar and its most congested areas continue to vex the people and there seems to be no bearing on the situation despite the government action. Obviously, the brunt will have to be faced by those officials and authorities who are responsible for the planning. If the functional aspects of the grade separator are to be evaluated, the project seems to be far off the expectations that must have come up in its planning phase. Overall, the problem appears to transcend this particular project as the entire city has become an example of half-thought and ill-conceived plans.  Once known for its beautiful environs, the city is fast turning into a concrete jungle with rampant and unorganized constructions going all around, some of them and ironically for the purpose of decongesting the city. Unfortunately, the successive governments have turned blind eye to the far-reaching consequences of construction-mania than opting for road widening which necessitates clearing the encroachments. The government on its part seems to be going for experimentation spree. We often find ourselves blaming city planners for “shortsightedness.” Very often commuters stranded in a traffic jam curse the “lack of planning” behind the construction of roads and now flyovers that are grossly insufficient for the burgeoning traffic load. The successive governments have been struggling to compensate for this lack of planning. With the ambitious road-widening project underway on some of the congested city routes (Lal Chowk), enormous amount of money has been earmarked for undoing the damage caused due to unrestrained constructions over the years.  With the focus on reclaiming space for roads, the government should also be cautious in launching new projects. The annual ritual to beautify Lal Chowk, Ghanta Ghar and its surroundings have clearly not gone well as commuters are least bothered about flower pots and flashy lights in the midst of regular snarl-ups. The administration needs to put greater emphasis on planning and preconceive different scenarios that can take the sheen off its touted plans and programs.     

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