Master plan 2035 proposes 2 increase in existing green space
Srinagar city has only 1.5 percent of the total developmental area under recreation which mostly includes public parks and public spaces.
As per the Srinagar Master Plan 2035, approved by government, states that only 1.5 percent of developmental area in Srinagar is under recreation use.
It also proposes an increase of 3.5 percent of organized green space in terms of public parks and open spaces in the Srinagar from existing 1.5 percent.
As the Master Plan, with only 1.5 percent area under green cover and recreation leaves Srinagar far behind the other metro cities in the country and organized green cover.
It envisages that a series of interconnected open spaces and public parks would be developed in the next two decades in the city.
As per data, the city has around 480 hectares under parks and gardens. Except for few gardens, it has lost many historic gardens due to the indifference and apathetic attitude of the government. Gardens like Dewan Bagh, Baghi Ali Mardan, Baghi Dilawar Khan has already been lost.
To increase the tree canopy, Srinagar Master Plan has recommended that plantation of non-local trees along road medians or buffers should be discarded and replaced by local species at the earliest.
“Priority would be given to trees having better environmental value in terms of foliage and growth. Historic trees like Chinar need to be protected to preserve the character of the city,” it said.
As per data, Srinagar city has more than 200 parks which are maintained by the Department of Floriculture.
The Master plan also proposes that green belt along the National Highway Bypass shall be brought under profuse plantation including Kashmiri Willow and Chinars and a series of connected green spaces for leisure and recreation.
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that cities should provide open space for every inhabitant. It also suggests designing green area networks so that all residents live within a 15-minute walk to open space.
“About 15% of area of any development project shall be earmarked for the development of organized recreational facilities. Under centrally funded scheme (CAMPA), intensive plantation drive would be-started to grow trees along the Zabarwan hills, Kohi Sulaiman and Hari Parbat,” it said.
As per the Master Plan, Srinagar city has a large chunk of land under graveyards and other burial and cremation grounds. “Malkhah in the old city abutting Kalai can be developed into a vital lung space in this area, it said.
Srinagar Master Plan recommends that the administration should ensure proper landscaping of historic graveyards and Eidgah’s for enriching biodiversity and ecology in these areas.
The Central Business District (CBD) especially the area from Dalgate to Lal Chowk has a plethora of green spaces disparate and not properly connected, it said.
“All these spaces including the Polo Ground, Emporium Garden, TRC Park/TRC Ground, Golf Course, Chinar Bagh, and Sher-i-Kashmir Park would be integrated into a Central City Park providing multi-faceted experiences to the people,” reads the Master plan.