Srinagar: A workshop ‘My city My ideas: Creating an enabling environment for heritage conservation and contemporary urban development’ in Srinagar was organised by Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) in collaboration with Srinagar Municipal Corporation here.
A large number of Architects, Engineers, planners, draftsmen and other dignitaries attended the event.
Mayor of Srinagar City, JunaidMattu, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Commissioner SMC and CEO Srinagar Smart City Limited Athar Amir Khan along with Chief Town Planner Iftikhar Hakeem, Convenor INTACH M SaleemBaig and Joint Commissioner Planning (SMC) Ghulam Hassan Mir attended the event.
Various other officials and technical persons from Srinagar Development Authority SDA, R&B (PWD), Department of Tourism, SMC, Department of Archaeology and Archives, Govt College of Architecture were also present.
Architect Asma Jeelani and a team from Street Art Foundation, New Delhi attended the event as special invitees.
Mayor emphasized on the need of shared values in the ecosystem which would help in framing the building byelaws for Srinagar city. He was of the view that any law which is to be framed or notified has to be in sync with the requirement of the city and at the same time should also maintain the cultural ethos of the market place
Commissioner SMC and CEO Srinagar Smart City Limited Athar Amir Khan took note of some valuable inputs shared by Architects, Engineers and city planners. He highlighted the need of having the building codes and other facade regulations to be put in place to improve the aesthetics of Srinagar city. “Any development in Srinagar should be planned, regulated under proper byelaws,” he said.
Chief Town Planner Iftikhar Hakeem, Convenor INTACH M SaleemBaig gave PPT presentations on city master plan and conservation of heritage in Srinagar city” respectively. CTP threw light on the new Building byelaws 2021 being adopted by development authorities which attempts to address various regulations formulated by National Building Code 2016.
Ghulam Hassan Mir, Joint Commissioner Planning said that there are practical problems while dealing with building permissions.
“Since Master Plan gives zoning regulations and setback rules but it has not stated any relaxation for plots on area basis which irks most of the applicants who own less quantum of land whether in Downtown or Uptown,” Mir said.
He said another major problem is that master plan has four reserved areas for town planning schemes within municipal jurisdiction. “Since these areas are to be developed for residential purposes but no individual permissions can be granted unless SDA or Town Planning Organization prepare the TPS. Citizens who have purchased land in these TPS reserves patches are suffering due to non-availability of building permissions,” he said.
Mir said these TPS areas need focus of the concerned agencies to early completion or it needs to be denotified so that illegal constructions do not happen.
“There is a big gap between the ideas in the master plan and aspirations of the society. Since zonal plans could not be prepared till date, another alternative could be ward-level planning which would be more fruitful. These ward level plans could be even outsourced to planning consultants and few pilot wards could be initiated in the beginning,” Mir added.
Street art foundation, New Delhi also gave a PPT presentation showcasing how visual art can be displayed at public spaces rather than confining it to art galleries. They also highlighted how visual art can become a tool in place making and addressing various urban issues.
CEO Srinagar Smart City Limited in his address stressed upon the need to organise such events more routinely so that self-checks would be made on achieving the goals laid by the city planners.