The Future City

Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 19 2019 10:40PM | Updated Date: Feb 19 2019 10:40PM
The Future City

The State Administrative Council (SAC) couple of days back approved the master plan, which will serve as a blueprint for future Srinagar, till 2035. During the last 45 years it is the third such development plan that has been approved by the state government for meeting the growing needs of the thousand-year-old capital city, that for its winding waterways and pristine blue lagoons was once known as Venice of the East. Despite the state drawing ambitious blueprints for the development of Srinagar, for their non-execution the capital city has not only ceased to be compared to great Italian city but is fast turning into the biggest slum of the state. It is an open secret that earlier master plans prepared conscientiously and diligently by the experts after taking into consideration the growing needs and historical importance of the metropolis were never executed in letter and spirit. But these were left to gather dust in the cupboards of Srinagar Development Authority and Municipal Corporation. Instead of following the master plans in letter and spirit, the development of the city was left to the whims and fancies of some politicians and engineers. Greed and corruption at every tier of the administration had a more prominent role to play in the destruction of the heritage city. For a price the authorities allowed construction of multi-story shopping complexes in the most congested localities of the metropolis. Scores of illegal housing colonies, without proper roads and sanitation, were allowed inside the water bodies, on the wetlands, and in the paddy fields. Such settlements have contributed to converting the capital city into one huge garbage dump. To save and restore this city to its old glory it needs to be decongested in a big way. The new master plan has envisaged the problem, and one of the important propositions in it is shifting of administrative offices, including civil secretariat, and various other institutions to peripheries of the city. Every earlier master plan like the new one had laid down guidelines for land use and codes for development, but what is imperative is ensuring strict adherence to these guidelines and laws.   

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