Srinagar Smart City 2.0:  Shahr-e-Khaas all set to become cultural capital of Kashmir

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SRINAGAR:  From a trouble spot to cultural capital, Shahr-e-Khaas is all set to charm tourists.

Thanks to Srinagar Smart City Limited, downtown Srinagar is getting a facelift to make it a heritage tourism hub.

New roads, cobbled streets, smart lighting, covered drains, and underground wires all are being planned to give the old city a new look. 

Srinagar Smart City has taken up six projects to give a new makeover to Shahr-e-Khaas. Work has been put on the fast track to complete the projects within the stipulated time.

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Srinagar Smart City 2.0:  Shahr-e-Khaas all set to become cultural capital of Kashmir 4

“We have taken up six projects. Dalgate-Gojwara Road, Nalaimar Road, Nowhatta-Malaratta, Nawa Bazar, and others are being developed and upgraded.   Jamia Masjid precinct too is part of the Smart City project. Work has started on all projects,” Athar Amir Khan, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, told The Kashmir Monitor.

The highlight of the project will be the new look of heritage markets and historical buildings. The façade of all heritage buildings in the old city will be refurbished without altering their original design and architecture. 

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Authorities have identified the heritage buildings in the entire old city which require a makeover. Special care will be taken to make it eye-pleasing without changing the basic design.

Likewise, the historic markets including Maharaj Gunj, Bohri Kadal, and others will be developed on modern lines without altering their basic architecture.

“We have devised a proper plan to improve the façade of the heritage buildings. We have identified the buildings that need to be refurbished. Similarly, all markets that have historic significance will be developed. It is all part of the project,” said Athar.

The second phase of the Srinagar riverfront is also being taken up. Dredging of Jhelum will be carried out by the Irrigation and Flood Control department. Smart City Limited will be developing the Ghats on the banks of Jhelum.

 “Twenty Ghats have been developed and work is on remaining 15,” said Athar.

The government has already decided to start water transport in Srinagar from next year. A private agency is being hired to operate e-boats in Jhelum and Dal Lake to ferry passengers. This will ease the traffic on Srinagar roads. Nearly 32 boats will run on different routes in Jhelum and Dal Lake. Routes will be earmarked and these e-boats will run like public transport. It will only be for passengers.

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