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Posted at: Jun 10, 2019, 7:20 AM; last updated: Jun 10, 2019, 7:20 AM (IST)

Smart City project: No development work visible so far, say residents

Smart City project: No development work visible so far, say residents
Under the Smart City project, a parking lot will be constructed at Kairon Market. Photo: Sunil kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 9

Around three years after the holy city was put under the ambitious grouping of the Smart City project under the Union Urban Development Ministry, nothing concrete is visible on the ground, say local residents.

No visible infrastructural change has been observed in the holy city despite the Smart City project’s allocation on September 20, 2016.

A senior citizen, Kulwant Singh, said grand promises of elevating infrastructure of the city to global standard remained undelivered. “Nothing smart is visible in the city. The projects, which have been taken over by officials of the project, are not up to the mark. City residents learn only through media about meetings on smart city projects, officials giving details about projects, like installations of LED lights, streamlining traffic, management of garbage, construction of parking at Kairon Market, fish market, etc., but nothing is noticeable,” he said.

Instead of easing the traffic on Bhandari Bridge, smart city officials have made it more complicated as the way from elevated road to Hall Gate has been blocked and commuters have to cover a long distance to reach the Hall Gate from the elevated road, causing more fuel usage, pollution and wastage of time.

Another city resident, Naresh Johar, said the Smart City authorities gave multiple advertisements, sometimes rectifying mistakes in previous ones, for same projects. He claimed that this was the case with proposed parking lot at the Kairon Market. “It does not portend well for a highly professional organisation, like Amritsar Smart City Limited (ASCL),” he said.

Prof Mohan Singh said Smart City authorities had taken up the maintenance of the green belt under the elevated road, which was earlier being looked after very efficiently by the horticulture wing of the PWD (B&R). Horticulture authorities had made proper arrangements for washing and watering the plants which presented a very aesthetic look amid the maddening traffic flow on the GT road. “Ever since the ASCL took over the charge of maintenance of green belt under the elevated road, they have not been regular in this regard. Watering of the plants has became occasional,” he rued.

Dust and carbon particles have covered the plants, due to which most of the plants and grass dried up, disappointing the commuters”, he added.

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