Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti Thursdayreviewed the status of preparation of Smart City Proposal (SCP) for Srinagar city and development of Semi- Ring Road in and around the State’s summer capital under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Also present in the meeting were Minister for Public Works and Parliamentary Affairs, A R Veeri, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development Social Welfare, Health & Medical Education, Asiea Naqash , MLA Batamaloo, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, MLA Sonawar, Muhammad Ashraf Mir, MLA, Anjum Fazili, MLC, Khursheed Alam, Chief Secretary, B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner, Agriculture Production, Pramod Jain, Financial Commissioner Planning and Principal Secretary to CM, B B Vyas and Administrative Secretaries of various departments.
While reviewing the status of preparation of Smart City Proposal (SCP) of Srinagar city, the Chief Minister emphasized that the proposal should contain the vision, plan for mobilization of resources and intended outcomes in terms of infrastructure upgradation and smart applications.
The Chief Minister said SCP should be prepared as per the principles of strategic planning process containing Area-Based Development (ABD) plans and Pan-city initiatives.
Noting the absence of certain legislators, the Chief Minister said that presence of all legislators from Srinagar, cutting across the party lines, would have added value to the discussion through their valuable suggestions.
Stressing the need for people’s empowerment and their involvement for participatory development, the Chief Minister said that since the process is still in infancy, maximum public participation and involvement in formulation of city vision and the SCP should be achieved through their feedback, ideas and suggestions.
The Chief Minister also sought status on the Srinagar Master Plan and added that the Smart City Proposal for the city needs to be in tune with the Srinagar Master Plan. The Chief Minister stressed the need for revival of various water-bodies in around the city in the SCP to improve the aesthetic sense of Srinagar. The Chief Minister directed the concerned to expedite the process of completion of the Master Plan so that it could be put in public domain for feedback.
Underscoring the importance of traffic decongestion in the city and also decreasing the pollution levels, the Chief Minister asked for development of cycling tracks in the city especially in areas like the Bund and at Boulevard around Dal Lake. She also asked for exploring the options of development of vertical residential structures in the congested areas of the city on Public Private Participation (PPP) mode.
Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Prime Minister in June 2015. It is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with a mission to develop 100 cities all over the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable.
It was informed that consultants empanelled with the Union Ministry of Urban Development have already been engaged for the preparation of the Smart City Proposal for the Srinagar City and that the Round-III of the Challenge will start in January next year.
Commissioner Secretary H&UDD apprised the Chief Minister with regard to efforts being made for the preparation of the SCP including engagement of stakeholders and fixed timelines. It was further informed that the final draft of the proposal shall be prepared by 15th December 2016.
Earlier the consultants gave a detailed presentation on the Smart City Proposal for Srinagar city. They apprised the Chief Minister with regard to citizen engagement through various online and offline initiatives like the facebook page, MyGov logo competition page among others. It was informed that under the offline mode around 10,000 copies of questionnaires were distributed at ward level and public meetings.
The Chief Minister was also apprised on the key areas of the Smart City and its major components including Area Based Development (ABD) and Pancity initiatives in the local context of the Srinagar city.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister was also given a detailed presentation by the Regional Officer, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on construction of Semi-Ring Road around Srinagar city. The Chief Minister was informed that State Government has established task force headed by the Divisional Commissioner for the purpose of land acquisition, which will expedite the acquisition work and subsequent preparation of Detailed Project Reports.
It was informed that the 61 km long Semi ring road passes through six districts including Pulwama, Budgam, Srinagar, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Baramulla. The Ring road project extends from Gallandar to Narbal junction and from there on to Wayul junction. The projected has been estimated to cost Rs 2058 Crore.
The Chief Minister observed that exclusive plantation should be carried out along the highways in order to enhance the green cover of the road patches. The Chief Minister emphasized that it should be done simultaneously along with rest of the work in such projects. It was informed under the National Green Highway Mission such plantation shall be included in the project.
The Chief Minister instructed to expedite the land acquisition proceedings for the construction of 4 – lane ring road/ by pass around Srinagar city. She asked the concerned authorities to keep provision of civic amenities while preparing the DPRs, besides planning a calendar of activities for the ring road project and accomplish tasks within the timelines.