Do we have enough facilities to match expansion?
The population of Srinagar is about to touch two million citizens in a few years. According to a United Nations (UN) report it is one of the fastest expanding cities in the world. The fact that the population of the districts surrounding Srinagar is also increasing at an alarming rate is putting more pressure on the capital city. It would not be surprising if in about 10-15 years time Greater Srinagar would have a cumulative population of four million people.
While population increase is one key index to declare a city as metropolis but it is obviously not the only one. The roads lead to development and roads we lack in Srinagar. The tourists who visit Kashmir spend a good time in Srinagar but apart from the gardens established by the Mughals we have no other attraction to show them. It has been observed that despite a great number of tourists visiting Srinagar not many venture into the downtown part of the city, where the emblems of our historical existence are present in every lane and by-lane.
The Transport of the city is very bad. Talk of posh Rajbagh area and there is no public transport there. Similarly on the so called 90-feet-road called Namath in vernacular one has to be lucky to catch a public transport bus. Besides, after 5 p.m. all modes of public transport just etherize from the roads. This makes Srinagar a tricky choice for people from frontier districts and they pray their official or private work ends on stipulated time of the day.
The city also needs affordable eateries and ubiquitous toilet facilities, both of which are invisible in Srinagar. Besides, with the closure of the cinemas there are not many places of entertainment which is a must for a metropolis. There definitely needs to be more hospitals than SMHS, SKIMS and Lalla Ded.
Srinagar City will expand and we know for a fact that it will expand horizontally. Sooner there would be more cars, more people, more patients and more visitors. Do we have enough facilities to accommodate aspirations of each citizen is the actual question?