Tag Archives: Development

Developing Brand Srinagar

downloadOver the years there has lot of unplanned growth in Srinagar city and it is growing at a rapid pace, it has been estimated that in a decade or so there will be no free land available in the city. The city is getting congested and needs a multipronged strategy to solve its issues.

Ultra modern satellite townships

Firstly, we must realize that more and more people are going to live in urban areas, which may go up to 60 percent in 2030. We need to build ultra modern satellite townships around the city that have all the infrastructure including hospitals, schools, digital connectivity, etc. and are connected back to the main city with world class motorways. We cannot have stressed-out people wasting their time in traffic jams. Comparatively, commuting in Srinagar city is very time consuming in spite of short distances.

Land use zoning

There is lot of residential space used for commercial purposes. In fact, there are less resources required to develop commercial spaces and provide opportunities for the people in the internal city. For example, let’s take an example of shops on either side of the Nalamar road, which can be easily developed into multistorey commercial complexes and multistorey parking facilities. It will not only provide lot of commercial space in the city, free up some residential space but also give a new look to the city.

High rise building

We can build high rise buildings for commercial purposes and provide ultra modern office spaces in the city. Government offices, banks, etc. can also be concentrated in these buildings. We can also experiment with selling and leasing commercial space to entrepreneurs for setting up hotels, which will help us to accommodate more tourists without putting heavy pressure on residential colonies.

Internal city renewal

We need to develop internal city, clear slums and redesign the residential colonies. Planned dense horizontal housing with infrastructure that will reduce environmental and health hazards and places of leisure will help in developing a rich cultural life in the city.

Today cities make a virtue of their atmosphere and heritage. We have to protect our heritage sites like Kalai (historical wall), Hari Parbat fort, etc. Nowadays we cannot even imagine of built a grand Masjid like Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta but at least we should build good service roads to all its gates.

We should develop our waterways that connect our religious places and develop the experiences for both visitors and residents alike. We have a foreshore road around Dal lake but unfortunately we cannot have any glimpse of lake from Dalgate to Hazratbal on one side. There are encroachments as well as some legal constructions in the area. However, we can acquire that land and build some iconic building there, we can move some vital institutions there or allow opportunity for new ones, it could be an hospital that provides tertiary care and promotes medical tourism, a luxury hotel for high-end tourists, sports facility, etc. That will not only help to unlock the land in other residential areas but also beautify the city. We are widening the roads but the widened roads have dividers of just 2-3 feet. We don’t have any road in the state with wide dividers of 10-12 feet with greenery and decorative plants or cycle track.

Identity

Cities create their own identities and environment sustainability has to be achieved by providing clean, green and safe environment and deal with pollution in all its forms, manage waste and water resources. There is a need to improve the process of collecting and disposing waste. Necessary actions need to be taken that encourage people to re-use and to recycle. We need to protect our water bodies. Till now we have not succeeded in conserving Brari Nambal lagoon, our lakes are shrinking and we all know the state of Jehlum river.

Roadways

We have started building roads but still little is done and the works goes on at snails pace. What is painful is that we first build narrow roads and then start widening them. The road from Kathi Darwaza to Mukhdoom Sahib Shrine could have been easily widened by procuring some land from Wakf when Sultan-Ul-Arfeen school was being built. Similarly we have build a new multi-specialty hospital in front of SMHS but did not bother to widen the road even to 90 feet. There has been lot of road widening done at many places but bottlenecks have not been removed. We have a by-pass road from Awantipora to Parimpora and then we have a Dr. Ali Jan Road from Sakidafar to Soura but the link between these two roads from Parimpora to Sakidafar takes more time to travel than the entire stretch of these two roads. So many years have passed since Fateh kadal bridge was built but the bottle neck till Karanagar still exists. We have been widening the Dalgate-Soura road on one side and there is Nalamar road on other side but the link roads from Gojwara to Rajouri Kadal and Nowhatta to Bouri Kadal continue to be bottlenecks. Most of the traffic jams/congestions are due to lack of properly designed road junctions: Qamarwari, Bohri Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Khanyar Chowk, Sakidafar, Dalgate are just few examples.