As the Srinagar Master Plan-2035 has been marred by controversies and political interference since last year, the governor administration has finally fixed a deadline of 30 days for Housing department to finalize the plan document for Srinagar.
According to the communique from Jammu and Kashmir’s chief secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Housing and Urban development department has been directed to complete the finalization of master plan in 30 days time starting from July 18.
I would now request to put your best foot forward and ensure that items identified for your department get completed as per the time frame fixed by you. I am confident you will be able to deliver and live up to my expectation. The list of deliverables has been also forwarded to Governor and his advisors,” reads the communique.
The Srinagar development authority in May 2017 had put in public domain draft Srinagar Master Plan for seeking feedback. However, despite lapse of a year since the draft plan was put in public domain, Housing department is yet to finalize the Master plan.
Chief town planner, Kashmir Fayaz Ahmad, said that the finalization of Master Plan is in last stage. “Chief Secretary has given a time frame of one month to complete the process. It is most likely that Master plan will be finalized with incorporation of suggestions approved by the technical committee.”
Srinagar draft Master Plan which was put in public domain for over two months last year has received around 350 suggestions which are being examined by a high-level committee headed by commissioner secretary Housing.
Major opposition has been to the idea of shifting civil secretariat from Srinagar to Nowgam. Though, the government has put on hold the proposal, however, as per top Housing department official, there are still some stumbling blocks which are delaying the finalization of the plan document which will be valid till 2035.
The draft Master Plan for Srinagar-2035 had proposed shifting of administrative offices, including the civil secretariat and various other institutions to peripheries of the city in order to decongest the summer capital.
The other offices and institutions recommended for relocation are the Biscoe School, offices of the Director School Education Kashmir, Fire and Emergency Services at Batamaloo, Director Information, DIG Traffic, Directorate of Agriculture at LalMandi, Forest Department at LalChowk; the Chest Diseases Hospital, the Psychiatric Diseases hospital, Central Jail Badamwari, Leper Colony and Leper Hospital, Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar, CAPD godowns at ShaheedGunj, old Assembly Complex and old Secretariat Complex.
The draft plan suggests shifting the civil secretariat to Nowgam, near the Railway Station, and using the secretariat building for accommodating all divisional and district offices. It also recommends building apartment buildings in the vicinity of the proposed secretariat complex at Nowgam for accommodation of bureaucrats and other officers. Apartment accommodation will facilitate vertical and high-density housing, the proposed plan reads.
Following the suggestions from the public, a committee headed by commissioner secretary Housing was supposed to take a final call on the recommendations to be incorporated in the Master Plan. However, the committee could not take any decision after which another sub-committee headed by the deputy commissioner Srinagar was constituted to look into the suggestions and feedback.
The draft Master Plan has envisioned increase in the city area from the existing 416 Sq Km to 766 Sq Km, which is an 82 percent increase from the existing Master Plan limits.
The area has been increased from the existing 416 sqkms to 766 sqkms. It includes all municipal areas of Srinagar Municipal Corporation and that of Budgam, Ganderbal, Pampore, Khrew Urban Local Bodies, and 160 villages in 12 tehsils of six Valley districts.