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‘Srinagar Master Plan impossible to implement’

January 3, 2018

Srinagar, Jan 02: Even as few years have passed since framing of the Srinagar Master Plan (2015-2035) draft, the government is still unsure of its implementation.
Official Sources that no work has been done to start implementation of the master plan. “Government is still unsure whether it is possible to implement the master plan,” an official said.
The official said that several senior officials believe that that it was not possible to fully “implement” the draft of the master plan.
“It is not possible to shift the main offices like the Civil Secretariat from Srinagar city. It does not mean whatever is in the draft has to be executed. Shifting of Civil Secretariat from Srinagar city is out of question,” the official said, while quoting several officials, who believe it was not practically possible to fully implement the master plan.
He was referring to the draft of the Master Plan that has proposed shifting of administrative offices, including the Civil Secretariat, and various other institutions to outskirts or to other districts.
“We want to use of space in Srinagar city. There are some suggestions in the draft of the master plan but are not practically possible,” the official said.
The government in May this year put the draft of the Srinagar Master Plan (2015-2035) in public domain before being put in the State Cabinet for final approval. It has been framed by the Srinagar Development Authority that comes under the ministry of Housing and Urban Development Department.
The draft of the master plan suggests an overhauling of the city including shifting of the main offices to city outskirts.
The draft plan suggests shifting of the Civil Secretariat to Nowgam, near the Railway Station, and using the secretariat building for accommodating all divisional and district offices.
Similarly, converting the Director Information and DIG Traffic offices, currently situated at Polo View Srinagar, into a Central Park, the RMP plans to shift them to NH Bypass Bemina, another flood-prone area.
The MP proposes to shift the District Police Lines Srinagar and Veterinary Hospital Maisuma to Eidgah, Noorbagh and use their existing spaces for institutional housing and tourism infrastructure, respectively.
Likewise, Chest Diseases Hospital would shift to Zewan, Central Jail and Mental Hospital to Khunmoh, while their existing spaces would be used as Craft Centres; Leper Hospital and leper colony to Khimber/Shuhama/Saidpora Humchi while using the current space for tourism, Govt. Press in Lal Chowk to Pampore near JKEDI while using its current space for commercial purposes and as a public park.
Doordarshan would move to the airport, Chief Justice’s accommodation would be at Gupkar while both of their existing structures would be turned into hotels.
Srinagar city, according to the draft is more than 2,500 years old, got its first comprehensive master plan during the reign of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Post 1947, it has been growing very fast, mostly in haphazard manner with insignificant contribution of planned housing colonies, the draft says.

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