SRINAGAR: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has come up with a pleasant idea: a building permission will only be given if there is space for planting a couple of plants.
According to the municipal officers, the idea could be implemented soon as the city is turning dustier without much green space left.
As per the plan, the SMC will make it mandatory for people to mark plantation space for at least two plants before a building permit is issued to them. This will be implemented first for people seeking permission for residential buildings.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, SMC officials said that there was no provision in Kashmir, unlike in some other states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, where it is mandatory to have space for landscape trees in any building project.
“In a state like Gujarat and Maharashtra, you are given a period of two or three years to have the trees planted, get them to a particular height, and then there will be an inspection. After the inspection, if you have planted the trees and they have grown to the particular height, you will be given the deposit money back (about Rs 5,000) or else you will be penalised,” said Fayaz Ahmad Khan, joint commissioner planning.
Khan said that the SMC was looking forward to have the same system in place in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir for which a meeting had already been held among senior officials. Nevertheless, taking money as deposit from people in Kashmir especially from the economically deprived section will be a difficult task, Khan conceded. He said that once the system was implemented, the corporation would make it a precondition that two-three plants are grown by every individual.
“People in Kashmir have recently gone down due to the devastating floods of 2014. People are trying to collect bits and pieces to get back to normal life. As of now, it will be slightly difficult to collect money from them. But once the mechanism is put in place, we will ensure that more and more trees are grown to make Srinagar green,” Khan said.
Commissioner SMC, Bashir Ahmad Khan said that apart from making it mandatory to have a plantation space, the corporation is also planning to identify places in the city, including in downtown areas, to grow its own trees. For this, people in some areas could be shifted and rehabilitated elsewhere.