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news details
Shelving Smart City projects, Govt to explore Urban Ropeway Solutions
Chaos, thy name is governance!
2/11/2019 11:53:42 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Feb 11: Jammu and Kashmir government seems to have shelved the much-hyped Smart City proposal for state's twin capitals as at present it is busy exploring Urban Ropeway Solutions to address the traffic congestion and related woes of the capital dwellers.
As per the official documents in possession of Early Times, the central government has sanctioned an estimated amount of 500 Crore rupees out of Prime Minister's special package for the creation of smart cities in the twin capitals of the state. As the entire amount of Rs 500 crore stands sanctioned since the year 2017, mere 1.50 crore have so far been spent in Jammu and Srinagar districts on the project. The figures have once again taken a lid over the government's non- serious approach towards ensuring the timely completion of the developmental projects in the state. It has also shown how the government which keeps trumpeting its achievements on ensuring time-bound completion of the vital projects has even failed to create a single Smart Lane, leave alone making the twin capitals Smart.
Pertinently, the State Government vide Order No.1081-GAD dated August 21, 2017 constituted Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) as Companies Limited by shares named as Jammu Smart City Limited and Srinagar Smart City Limited under the Companies Act, 2013 with authorized share capital of Rs 10 lakh, equity share of Rs 10 each and paid up capital of Rs 10 lakh for both the companies for implementation of smart city development projects.
Now when the deadline has been missed for the implementation of the project, the government seems to have discovered an alternate route to hoodwink public opinion. It is now, as per insiders dishing out Ropeway projects in Jammu as well as in Srinagar to address the traffic congestion.
"It is ironic indeed that the government earlier promised smart cities in Jammu as well as in Srinagar and then claimed to have approved hundreds of crores for the budget. Now when the projects have been limited on papers only, a newest rabbit out of its cap has come out in the form of Ropeway projects. However, the government would do well if it answers what has happened to the previous smart city projects that it is now out to discuss new ones," says an official privy to the development.
Pertinent to mention here that recently as per the official spokesman of the government, a team of officials from the central government made a PowerPointpresentation and detailed discussions were held on the advantages of putting in place Ropeways facilities in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Governor observed that due to increasing traffic congestion on roads and also to minimize road accidents the establishment of Ropeways as Urban Transport Solutions in the State will prove to be highly beneficial.
The Governor stressed upon the concerned departments to further convene meetings and identify the most feasible areas in the State for the establishment of such Ropeway projects.
During the meeting, the WAPCOS authorities briefed about various advantages of Ropeways which included low space requirement, limited capital investment and operating costs, ability to overfly obstacles, quick to build, connectivity to other transport systems, environmentally sustainable, easy accessibility, positive social impact with increased access to jobs, health and education, safety, lowest operating costs among all transport solutions, lowest maintenance costs among all transport options etc. They stated that such systems can carry up to 12,000 people per hour and have the highest level of incremental scalability. They further said that similar projects have already been initiated in other states such as Himachal Pradesh.
Now the million dollar question is whether the government is going to approve the Rope Ways project for the twin capitals of the state or it is going to make the Smart City proposal a success which otherwise was announced in Jammu and Kashmir amid much fanfare.
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