‘Srinagar needs 50% more parks and gardens’

‘Srinagar needs 50% more parks and gardens’
Locals and tourists enjoy their day out at the Asia’s largest Tulip Garden on the banks of Dal lake in Srinagar on Saturday April 13, 2019. [File] Mubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: Srinagar has just half parks and gardens as per standard norms for a capital city.

According to official data, Srinagar city has 169 parks covering about 287 hectares against a minimum standard of 570 hectares provided in the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) guidelines, 2015.

"This implies that the total area available under organised parks and gardens is deficient by close to fifty percent of the total requirement," states a document prepared by government's housing and urban development department.

"There is no denying the fact that Srinagar city is grossly deficient in organised green spaces (parks and gardens)."

The URDPFI guidelines suggest standards for open spaces in large and metropolitan cities are 1.2 to 1.4 hectares per 1000 persons, depending upon the land availability.

Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that cities should provide nine square metres of unpaved open space for every inhabitant.

Srinagar has meager 2.6 square meters per capita green space availability for each city dweller.

The body also suggests designing green area networks so that all residents live within a 15 minute walk to an open space.

In Indian cities, according to the urban greening guidelines of 2014, a report from the ministry of urban development, per capita green space in metropolitan cities is better than that in Srinagar.

Except for few, Srinagar has lost many historic gardens including Dewan Bagh, Baghi Ali Mardan, Baghi Dilawar Khan in past several decades.

At least five government agencies are directly responsible for the development and maintenance of public parks in the state which include department of floriculture, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Srinagar development authority, J&K housing board and landscape division and PW(R&B) department.

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