Rs 20 Crore project in limbo as City’s faulty fountains run dry

Srinagar: If you wish to see any of the city fountains gush with water better wait till a VIP plans visit through the area. Most of at least ten decorative fountainheads, erected across the Srinagar city at a whopping cost of Rs 2 Crore, have faltered and the authorities are hard-pressed to keep one running in order to please a VIP.

Once projected as the ‘look changers’ the fountains constructed in and around the Srinagar city, now appear dried out and an example of wasteful official spending.

Seven fountains constructed at vital intersections of the city roads at Bishambar Nagar, Khanyar crossing, Rainawari crossing, Syed Mansoor Chowk, Karan Nagar crossing, TRC crossing and Pantha Chowk are non-functional for past many weeks. Srinagar Municipal Corporation, the agency responsible for the upkeep of the City decor, has cited water scarcity as major cause for the dysfunction of these finely built fountains.

“Most of the fountains remain out of order during the summers.  At the outset of  the Darbar Move these are started just to please the ministers and the bureaucrats but within few weeks these fountains run dry,” said Ali Muhammad, a resident of the old city.

Officials sources say the state government has spent Rs 20 lakh on each of the fountains.  “Sometimes on the visit Ali Muhammad Sagar and other senior leaders to downtown, the fountains located at Bishamber Nagar and Rainawari are made functional. We know they are faulty but are now run as an eyewash ,” said one of the officers dealing with the functioning of the fountains .

The official revealed that the use of low quality material in the construction of fountains has rendered them useless.

“Due to a technical snag in their design, the boosters used in these fountains break down when they are charged resulting in the non-functioning of these costly fountains,” revealed the official.

The Official further said a single booster costs over Rs 5000 and running fountains at this cost may slash the state exchequer.

“If we have to change the booster every half an hour you can imagine what it can cost to the state exchequer.” The official said.

When contacted, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation  G M Qasba admitted the fault and assured that all the fountains wouldl be functional in a couple of weeks.

“All of them will be functional in next 15 days. We are planning to beautify the Srinagar city and in this regard more fountains will be added to the city. Srinagar will be very beautiful place,” the commissioner claimed.     

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