Mayor seeks review on traffic, Basant says not your domain

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 9: Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic Basant Rath, and the newly-elected Mayor of Srinagar, Junaid Mattu, today engaged in a verbal spat over traffic management in the city.
Rath hit out at Mattu after the latter said that he had sought a review of traffic plans in the city in view of “traffic management issues”.
“Not your domain. Traffic diversion at Jehangir Chowk is a compulsion. The vendors have created a mess on Amira Kadal-HSHS-Maharaja Bazar-LD Hospital stretch. SMC needs to clear the mess,” Rath wrote on Twitter while responding to Mattu.
Earlier, Mattu had said that he had received numerous complaints of traffic mismanagement issues in the city. “Have received numerous complaints about traffic mismanagement issues in the city. I have spoken to the SP Traffic (Urban) and sought a review of current traffic diversions and plans. The SMC has been directed to help with decongestion of alternate routes for some relief,” Mattu wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday Mattu had said that Rath was “unwell” after the latter termed him as “cabbage” over his remarks on wetlands.
Soon after being elected Mayor on November 6, Mattu in a press conference, said: “We are not putting chastity belts around Srinagar”.
On a question of constructions coming up on wetlands, he said, “people see the building of a showroom and not 300 people working there. We will strike a balance between development and ecology but that does not mean putting a chastity belt around the city. Wetland Main Kya Karna Hai, Chidyoun Kou Dikhana Hai (What we need wetlands for, to show them to sparrows ?).”
Rath, in reaction to Mattu’s statement on wetlands said thoughts were that of a “cabbage”. “Wetlands are precious and a vital part of our ecosystem. Only a cabbage will think otherwise”, he tweeted.
Mattu in reaction to Rath’s cabbage tweet said: “That’s fine. He’s unwell. Don’t worry.”
Mayor’s comment also drew flak from other netizens and Professor Shakil Romshoo, Head Department of Earth Sciences, Kashmir University wrote. “Though the successive establishments have always treated wetlands as wastelands in the State but this is a brazen display of insensitivity and ignorance about these very important natural systems. I thought 2014 floods made all of us wiser about the importance of these vital systems. Given the geomorphic setup and vulnerability of Kashmir valley to floods, nature has bestowed us with thousands of wetlands to reduce our risk to floods. “We all are for modern infrastructure development in the State but it has to be disaster resistant, environmental friendly and in sync with our cultural ethos. We were made to believe by the CEO before the elections that our city will be soon in the safe hands of a ‘foreign educated’ and ‘well informed’ Mayor but we are very much concerned about your flawed vision of city development”, Ramshoo tweeted.


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