The Union government has approved over 276 projects in Jammu and Srinagar in the last 3 years under the ‘Smart Cities’ mission. The projects are aimed at transforming these cities into vibrant centres that house all the modern facilities viz., quality city services, public aesthetics, ease of living, and clean and sustainable environments. The cities of Jammu and Srinagar which used to be highly congested and underdeveloped have now been transformed into vibrant smart cities.
The “Smart Cities” project which focuses on upgrading urban governance and administration was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015, for the development of selected 100 Smart Cities across the country. Jammu and Srinagar cities were selected by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the third round of competition held in June 2017.
With an aim to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people across the country, effective steps are being taken to ensure that these projects are completed within the stipulated times. The Srinagar and Jammu Smart City projects have been structured with a clear focus on improving urban governance and unlocking the latent creativity and vitality of the historical cities.
The “Naya Kashmir”
As Jammu and Srinagar are blessed with natural and cultural heritage, they are heading towards becoming eco-friendly, resilient and socio-economically vibrant cities. The digital infrastructure has been improved in both cities. People now can avail of a range of urban services like building permission, no-objection certificates for commercial activities, birth and death certificates, etc besides getting various government services digitally. Under ‘Smart City Mission’ Srinagar has got EV charging stations, smart street lighting, multi-level parking, sports infrastructure, a water transport system in Jhelum river, ornamental LED lighting around Dal-lake, pathways and kiosks along Jhelum River Bund. The beautification and renovation of bund along Jhelum River, revetment and embankments of river banks, improvement of ghats, area illumination along river banks, pedestrian walkways and footpaths, boardwalks, walkways and cycle tracks have given Srinagar a new look altogether.
Jammu Smart City
Besides Srinagar, Jammu city has also witnessed a remarkable overhauling of physical as well as digital infrastructure in the last three years. A ramp-based multi-car parking has been built at a cost of Rs 201.66 crore at General Bus Stand with a capacity of 80 buses and 1312 cars. A series of projects like Reverse Vending Machine, Refuse Compactor, Two Bin Segregation Dust Bins, GPS-enabled Vehicles for waste collection, City Chowk Parking and Smart Bus stops have already been completed
These new initiatives are catering to the needs and aspirations of J&K people. Various digital and IT services have been made accessible for citizens to get seamless information and better service delivery.