Abdul Hamid Mir (Rising Kashmir)
Srinagar City is not only the heart, but coronary artery of Kashmir. The city is famous since times immemorial and was quite famous during the Mughal rule. Ranging from slum dwellers to business giants, from a cart puller to a political, the city has been welcoming everyone with a smiling face for centuries. Now due to population stress, the city seems to be inflated, so a well planned expansion is sought. Horizontal expansion (well planned) is inevitable given the unchecked migration of rural population into the city outskirts and given the limited space available for a growing population.
A comprehensive Srinagar Master plan should be aimed at augmenting the standard of physical infrastructure in the summer capital without perturbing the historical significance of Srinagar. During peak years of turmoil, Jammu witnessed surplus developments, now it is time to focus on Srinagar. The historical city needs an overhaul while maintaining its glory.
Lal Chowk, the city main centre always remains flooded with people and transport vehicles. A mechanism should be put in place so that the crowded place do no longer becomes impermeable during peak hours. For God’s sake, the footpaths should be cleared for pedestrians. Old city roads are narrower than streets, they need to be widened. Delay in implementing the rehabilitation plan of houseboat dwellers is slowly making the world famous Dal Lake succumb to extreme pollution.
Green Belt should have been ‘Red’ Zone for further constructions even for the elite class, irrespective of the status. A flyover at Shalteng (HMT) crossing should have been a decade old. Roads, commercial buildings, and tourist spots etc require a face-lifting. Dog fear and Traffic Jams are equally worrying the city dwellers which need attention of authorities. Illegal encroachments should be completely dismantled with suitable compensation wherever required. Likewise Metro cities, construction of residential colonies should be done in a planned manner.