Haphazard Mess

Haphazard Mess
A city, in general and generic terms, is the face of a place or a locale; it is also a focal point which accords and imparts character to a given place. Given this, where does our very own Srinagar City stand? Abysmally low is the sad and unfortunate answer. The reasons pertain to the nature of public policy and its overall lag behind demographic pressures,  haphazard urbanization, population growth and needs of the users of the city. Flawed design and nature of transportation feeds into these reasons and makes Srinagar city a decrepit one. The green cover of the city has and continues to dwindle and diminish. This is ungainly and bad not only for aesthetic reasons but also, perhaps more importantly, for practical reasons. Srinagar city, if it merits an appellation contemporarily, fits the bill of a huge , massive and ugly urban sprawl. There are clear cut environmental and living implications involved here. As the green cover and spaces in Srinagar city and its environs diminish, the city, as mentioned, already a sprawl, will become unlivable. Evidence of this already abounds: massive congestion of the city, traffic snarls, choked urban spaces and other allied developments have disfigured our once famed and famous city. In the final analysis, the sufferers of this nagging and festering problem are and will be the denizens and users of the city.  Allied effects will be felt in as varied domains as tourism , public health and hygiene. The question is: is there a remedy to the problems that Srinagar city presents? Can the city be restored to its pristine glory?  It is in doubt that the city can be restored to its former glory. But, as they say, a stitch in time saves nine.  That is, what is in the domain of the possible is to prevent further damage and restore aspects of the city that are amenable to resolution.  Both call for a holistic program that, first, understands the nature of the problem(s) and then seeks to address these. Pre-emptive planning, along with an urban rejigg of the city should be the sine qua non of this approach. It may be prudent here to actually seek policy and practical advice and expertise even from foreign planners and practitioners. The future of our city is at stake. It is imperative that steps and measures be taken that prevent further slide and degeneration of Srinagar City, lest it becomes absolutely and totally unlivable!

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