Smart City Project in Jammu City complete whitewash: Sawhney

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 1: Former minister and senior Congress leader Yogesh Sawhney strongly condemned the poor implementation of the Smart City Project in Jammu’s old city, stating that many problems have been created for the locals due to lack of consideration for their needs by the administration while undertaking this project.
In a press statement here today, Sawhney said there is a huge gap between on-paper ambitions and the on-ground execution when it comes to the Smart City Project in the Old Jammu City. Various concerns of the locals related to this issue were highlighted by Congress Ward president, Ward No. 1 Ram Magotra with Sawhney.
Sawhney explained that the work for the Smart City Project has been started in Ward No. 1, Jammu East, meant to cover the area extending from Panjtirthi to Chowk Chabutra region. While the project should entail complete modification of the drainage system, the lanes and the infrastructure, it is limited to the construction of a “footpath” in these areas, for which, roads have been broken in various areas. The drains and the old PHE pipes that run through the area remain untouched and there is no work being done to modify and work on these infrastructural issues which should have been the core focus of the project.
Secondly, the way this work is being carried out, it is hampering the daily work of local shopkeepers and businessmen as roads are broken in front of their shops and left in the same state for long durations. There is no proper implementation or planning, it is a whitewash scheme by the Government.
Sawhney asserted that the Government does not care about the genuine concerns of the residents. The old city area is already very congested with tightly packed streets and roads. The construction that is happening now will complicate that situation further rather than helping it. These factors should be considered by the administration in planning of the implementation of this project. However, this has not been the case and it will eventually lead to more problems in the area. Traffic management, parking, quality roads, are already very serious concerns for the people who live in the Old Jammu City, Sawhney said.
He also criticised the Government for falsely depicting the project as a harbinger of development when actually the reality is completely opposite. The project and it’s execution lack planning and an understanding of the needs of the people, he asserted.