Court seeks action plan from government
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has directed the state government to come up with an action plan on identifying green spaces in Srinagar city within three weeks.
Hearing a PIL on parks and gardens in Srinagar, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey made the directions after receiving a report from chief town planner, Srinagar, which divulged that he city was is a mess and has no maintenance of any park.
According to the report, against the desirable green space of 570.5 hectares the city has only 242.6 hectares of green spaces – 42 percent of desired space.
The report said that 29 parks are maintained by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), 51 by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) and 89 parks come under Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board. Out of these, some parks are in the process of construction.
Advocate General, Jahangir Iqbal Ganai said, that in downtown area of the city, houses can be acquired to create the green space.
Amicus Curie Advocate Syed Faisal Qadri said that parks should have all the basic facilities. “Only one at Rajbagh has the facilities. Rest all are in mess,” he said.
The commissioner secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department who was present at the hearing said that an amount of six crores shall be transferred to SMC for creating green spaces.
He said, “that the government is in process of upgradation of all parks and a local community is also being consulted that what facilities a community wants to have in their park is also taken into consideration.”
Report said that 11 parks are maintained in Baghi Mehtab area and 51 are in Bemina.
The court directed commissioner secretary to file another status report with photographic evidences so that court could know about the condition of parks and gardens.
Justice Durrez said, that the rules for open spaces in terms of urban guidelines “are required to be followed”.
Department of Floriculture was also directed by court to follow the letter of Justice (Retd) Bilal Nazki in letter and spirit.
Nazki, in the letter, had called for court’s attention for identifying and earmarking areas in each locality of Srinagar for development of parks, green spaces or urban forests.