SRINAGAR: The Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) is not satisfied with the feedback on Srinagar Master Plan (SMP) as it has again extended the deadline for submission of suggestions for possible changes or improvement in the SMP-2035.
The SDA, authorised to develop the summer capital on modern lines, had introduced the SMP in July and put it in public domain for suggestions and opinions from those interested in the development of Srinagar.
The previous government has already approved the local area expansion of Srinagar by a Cabinet vide SRO 429 dated 21/10/2014 and the SMP was put in public domain for 60 days following which its date was extended twice.
The area expansion suggests extending certain pockets under Srinagar Municipal Corporation and those of Budgam, Ganderbal, Pampore, Khrew urban local bodies besides a cluster of 160 villages.
“This is third extension in seeking public response,” said an official of SDA. “We have already received 211 suggestions and the last date for submitting response to SMP has been set as October 08.”
He said that the decision to extend the date of seeking suggestion was taken at a meeting with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
The SDA had already sent several reminders to state government for making of committee which will look in to the suggestions submitted by people. “As per the developmental act, it is up to government to form a committee,” the official added.
The Srinagar Master Plan has suggested expanding the Srinagar city from existing 416 sq km to 766 sq km.
Since SDA has sought suggestions from the public, it created 52 zones for planned development of Srinagar.
The SDA is engaging subject experts in crafts, transport, urban designing, housing, urban government/public policy and statistics for “preparation of zonal plans of Srinagar city”.
“The process to select the experts is almost complete,” the official informed.
The SDA officials clarified that the Srinagar Smart City project will cater to a particular area in Srinagar district. “The funds will be spent on that area,” they said. The Srinagar Smart City project is being funded by government of India and state government is in the process of establishing an agency which will look after its implementation.
On the shifting of General Bus Stand (GBS) to Parimpora, the officials said that 57 kanals of land was procured for buses and min-buses at Parimpora near SRTC yard.
“Further, we have sought 25 kanals of land from SRTC which has a total of 56 kanals of land at Parimpora for rehabilitation of those shopkeepers who are interested in shifting their businesses there,” they said. “We will be constructing a terminal building there as well.”
The SDA officials said that a total of 80 kanals of land formed GBS Batamaloo out of which 67 kanals was kept for buses and structures including shops and bus terminal were constructed on rest.
At Parimpora, the new bus stand which transporters refuse to use, the SDA officials said that they have constructed 4 ticket counters, 2 lavatories, 3 huts for office accommodation of transporters while as the area has been black topped. “We will be providing other facilities but it will come with passage of time; we have done electrification of whole area while as water points too have been fixed.”
The officials maintained that SDA will push for judicial use of land at Parimpora. “It is not possible that all the buses will be present at Parimpora (Bus Stand) at one time… buses will be moving out and the space for the new bus stand is sufficient,” they added.
The J&K High Court after hearing a PIL ordered sealing of the GBS Batamaloo has remarked that the shifting will “decongest the city”. The new bus stand was constructed at Parimpora, however, buses, – 600 in number – are halted on dharna for past couple of weeks against “forcible eviction” from GBS Batamaloo.
The traders running their businesses around GBS have also joined the protest demonstration saying that their businesses will be hit.