Srinagar, India (Urban Transport News): Srinagar is planning to develop 80 kilometres of walking space in an “unprecedented” development for any Indian city, besides introducing water transport and electric buses under the Smart Cities Mission.
“We have plans to develop 80 kilometres of walking infrastructure in Srinagar, which is unprecedented for any city in the country. The city should be walkable and pedestrian-friendly and non-motorised infrastructure is of the highest priority,” he said.
The Srinagar authorities are also installing 1,500 smart CCTV cameras for multiple purposes. Of these, 500 cameras have already been installed, Khan said.
Talking about the redevelopment of the famous Polo View Market, executed at a cost of around Rs 10 crore, he said there was choas as nothing was in order earlier.
“We recently completed the redevelopment project of the Polo View Market under which it has now become a non-motorised and pedestrian-friendly zone,” the officer said.
Khan said they are also procuring 100 electric buses and added it will be the first time that electric buses will be part of the public transport system.
“We are looking at how to have better public transport for the city. To begin with, we are procuring 100 electric buses, 25 of which will start operating by the end of July,” Khan added.
The Srinagar Smart City Limited aims for a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s urban infrastructure, making it resilient, safe, sustainable and significantly improving the quality of life of citizens.
Khan said the Srinagar authorities are also working on an integrated public transport system, describing it as the most efficient and equitable solution for urban mobility and climate change.
Public transport saves money, facilitates movement and, hence, increases opportunities and increases land value, he added.
Last month, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry extended the deadline for the Smart Cities Mission till June 2024 following requests from some cities that sought more time to complete their ongoing projects. The earlier deadline was June 2023.