Srinagar, Oct 9: The Chief Secretary Madhav Lal took a marathon tour of Shaher-e-Khaas areas to review progress on the development of Artisan Clusters in the old City. It' for the first time in the past 20 odd years that the government's top official visited densely populated areas and walked over two miles on foot through the narrow lanes and by-lanes.
The Chief Secretary started his surprise tour Monday afternoon and continued with it till evening.
Locals of many congested areas like Khanqah-e-Sokhta, Nawa Kadal, Seki Dafar and Safa Kadal were surprised to see the top official flanked by a battery of other officials walking through the "ignored lanes and by lanes of the congested old City."
Sources said Lal while reviewing the progress on the prestigious project interacted with artisans in various areas.
The government, as per officials, aspires to bring tourists closer to artisans so that the "role middlemen who would usually take a big share in deals is brought to an end."
Under the Artisan Cluster program, the workplaces of artisans and related facilities are to be upgraded. The Chief Secretary flanked by Commissioner SMC and DDC Srinagar, reviewed progress on the ambitious project.