Constricted and Choked Spaces

Constricted and Choked Spaces
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It would not be an exaggeration to state that urban spaces across Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, are constricted and even choked. Be it is choked spaces in the heart of Srinagar city, or its environs, the dwindling and dissipating green cover, the lack of parking and pedestrian spaces, the saga is the same everywhere. Perhaps every denizen of Srinagar city can relate to this. The reasons accrue from and pertain to the usual suspects, so to speak, demographic pressure(s), haphazard and flawed urbanization, poor zonal and municipal limits, and yes, even economic growth, in relative terms. Demographic pressures create stress on extant infrastructure and facilities. In this schema, the constant is the rate(non existent) of infrastructure and related facilities and the variable is demographic growth. This creates obvious strains and leads to choked spaces. The concomitant here is economic growth(again, in relative terms) which has allowed some people to, say , own their means of transport. The ratio of car ownership has then increased in comparison to the coping up and absorptive capacities of the city and its environs. All this adds up to and makes for a condition where, broadly speaking, Kashmir’s and , in particular, Srinagar’s, public spaces get choked, creating an n number of difficulties for people. The problem is going to get worse with the passage of time. The question is: can this condition be remedied? Or, in the least, can it be salvaged? The answer is contingent on a policy response with people and their welfare as the prime and central focus. One obvious measure that stares us in the face is the creation and development of an efficient, effective and a streamlined transportation system. (It is said that a city is as good as its transportation system). The complement to a vibrant, and holistic transportation must be parking spaces situated around the immediate periphery of Srinagar city, if space permits. These are just the obvious measures that strike the mind to declutter and decongest our city. An in depth study and research would reveal more here. Last but not the least, the onus and responsibility also falls on the people of Kashmir to take care, nurture and nourish the public spaces of Kashmir. In combination, the measures delineated here and the insights provided by effective and incisive research can alleviate the burden and develop efficient, user friendly spaces, all of which can only redound to the welfare of all.

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