Srinagar, Oct 17: The water fountain installed on the Budshah Bridge might have brought a new charm to the bridge attracting hundreds, but there is a 10-years long story behind the completion of the project.
Surprising to know that the project has not been set up by any government agency or department, but it is a pure volunteer work of a local youth. It is an outcome of 10-years long efforts of Old City boy Waseem Hassan Raja, who completed the project without any help from the government.
But even after two months of its installation, no government agency or department has so far owned the project. It continues to remain a property of Waseem.
“The concept of bridge fountain was submitted to the commissioner SMC in the year 2007. We were asked to collect the NOCs from almost every department – R&B, P.H.E, Irrigation and Flood Control, Traffic department and PDD. It took us around two years to collect all the NOCs,” Waseem Raja told KNS.
On 23rd April 2008, he presented the idea in the “Review meeting with regard to the beautification of Srinagar City”.
“It was appreciated by the then Mayor, and it was unanimously decided to install the fountain on the Budshah Bridge by the developer. However that time I didn’t get the chance to install due to certain obstructions,” he said.
Later, Waseem Raja continues his efforts and approached numerous departments and well off persons for funding. “I failed at every level. But I continued the struggle,” he said.
Recently in the month of July 2017, Waseem discussed it with one of his friend Mohammad Afzal who showed his interest to help him financially.
“We started the work and it’s done. The fountain is lively seen on the Budshah Bridge during the day and evening times which has changed the scene of Budshah Bridge. It has been appreciated by general public at large,” he said.
Waseem Raja said the fountain gives a cooling effect especially when the sun hits the highest point. “The water used for the operation of fountain is purely river water being lifted by the submersible motors. We have paid Rs 10,000 to PDD for electricity charges,” he said.
Now he wants the government to appreciate his initiative and allow him to install more fountains on the other bridges so that the city of Srinagar looks like a smart city in one or the other way. “I want financial help from the government to continue with these projects,” he said.
He said the SMC has assured him that the Corporation would own the Budshah bridge fountain.
Talking to KNS, SMC Commissioner Shafqat Khan said they have not owned it yet. “It has been done by someone voluntarily. I have no idea who made it. We will see if we can own it, if it comes in our budget competence,” he said. (KNS)