Srinagar has seen a remarkable transformation under smart city mission.
Less than two months after the Narendra Modi government included Srinagar in the Smart City mission, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir is getting a facelift.
The city is now lit up with bright lights at night and the iconic Chinar trees have a new incandescent flavour now. Srinagar has seen a remarkable transformation for a place torn by violence for nearly three decades.
"Since last few years Kashmir has been gloomy, but still people have a very good spirit of life here, they don't give up," said Anita Mehta, who owns Mahatta Studios in Srinagar.
For close to three decades, the city wore a deserted look at night. But now it is lit all over. "We are very happy seeing lights all over, it has added to the beauty of Kashmir. These lights give us an impression that we are being welcomed in Kashmir," said Aejaz ul Haq Khan, a tourist in Srinagar.
Last year, the Jammu and Kashmir government invited suggestions for drafting the Srinagar smart city proposal. Despite the unrest in the valley at the time, over four lakh people, mostly youth, gave their suggestions - most of the suggestions came through social media despite the mobile internet blockage.
While the government has incorporated most of the ideas suggested by the youth like creation of biking lanes, walkways and digitisation be included in the plan, it has ensured that the prominent theme is the projection of Srinagar city as a hub of Kashmiri culture and civilization. "We want to have walkways, cycle tracks and footpaths. And we want to decorate them with flowers and fountains and lights so that people can come out in the evenings and walk with their families and see hope.