‘Srinagar has lost greenery, needs plantation’

Landscape architect Prof Jan Haenraets for restoring city's natural balance
‘Srinagar has lost greenery, needs plantation’

Noted landscape architect Prof Jan Haenraets expressed concern over loss of green cover in Srinagar called for undertaking plantation drives in the summer capital.

"Srinagar city has lost green cover including hugetrees. It has also witnessed huge constructions disturbing natural balance,Prof Haenraets said speaking during a workshop of urban issues organized by theKashmir Press Club here.

Haenraets is also a conservation specialist Prof in thePreservation Studies Program at Boston University and Director of AtelierAnonymous, a consultancy team in landscapes and public space. Besides he isco-founder of the Atelier Anonymous Global Landscape Foundation.

"Srinagar has also lost Chinar tress at rapid race. Thecity has lost greenery, pure air, horticulture, agriculture, Karewas and cleanwater," he said while displaying some pictures of Srinagar city on the proctor.

He said due to human intervention, the city has lost naturalbalance. " At huge area of Lal Chowk, there are no trees. The naturalbalance has gone now. Imagine the future of this city," he said.

He said socio-cultural and environmental issues have to belooked into and it is high time to educate people about the issues."Educational policy should include noise pollution, landscape, architecture andplantation of trees," he said.

He stressed that more plantation drives must take place andpeople should voluntarily promote and take part in these campaigns. "Save thetrees, save Karewas. Can't we use silt of Dal Lake and Wullar for fillingrather than extracting soil from Karewas?" he said.

He expressed concern over garbage and silt entering intowater bodies.  "Drainage in Srinagar isfacing huge pressures."

The work of Prof Jan ranges from creative design andenvironmental art to heritage management, and cultural landscape advice.

He was a Fellow in Garden and Landscape Studies at DumbartonOaks, Harvard University, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Aga Khan Program forIslamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He wasHead of Gardens and Designed Landscapes of the National Trust for Scotland andis a member of the DOCOMOMO International Specialist Committee on Urbanism andLandscape.

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