Srinagar fast losing green cover, organised spaces

Srinagar fast losing green cover, organised spaces
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SRINAGAR: Despite Kashmir Valley having lush green meadows in abundance the summer capital of Srinagar has the least availability of green spaces, reveals draft action plan for augmentation of organised green spaces in the city.
Urban Green spaces help in maintaining ecological balance to sustain the relationship of man and the nature. The city, despite have grown in air pollution over the years, has the least availability of them across the country.
The document, made by the Housing and Urban Development Department, said that the city is 50 percent deficient of total required space. It said that there are 169 parks existing, with a total area of about 287 hectares, against the minimum standards of 570 as suggested by Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation.
“This implies that the total area available under organised parks and gardens is deficient by close to 50% of the total requirement. There is no denying the fact that Srinagar city is grossly deficient in organised green spaces (parks and gardens). As such, the city needs to have a long term Action Plan across departments/sectors to meet out the deficiency of green spaces in incremental manner over a period of time,” said the document.
However, as per the report, some of the India’s busiest cities have more open spaces than Srinagar. As per the document, in Indian cities like Varanasi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhopal, Allahabad and NOIDA have more than the WHO prescribed norm of 9 SQM open spaces.
The report said that Srinagar is an ecologically fragile city, yet it lacks sufficient organised spaces. The situation is so precarious, as per the report, that the core city is comprehensively without any natural vegetation presenting a desolate outlook.
“The once lush green forest areas, the Zabarwan hills, Kohi Sulauiman and Kohi Maran or Hari Parbat have turned into barren hillocks with a huge footfall of habitations in their foothills. Being a tourist city, Srinagar needs careful Landscape Planning in terms of plantation of indigenous trees along hills, open lands, roads, buffers, parks and gardens,” the documents has found.
Except for few gardens, the document said, it has lost many historic gardens due to indifference and apathetic attitude. Gardens like Dewan Bagh, Baghi Ali Mardan, Baghi Dilawar Khan have already been lost,” it added