SRINAGAR: The new Srinagar master plan report has proposed at least 10 official buildings, including offices of the divisional commissioner and deputy commissioner, and official residence of the chief justice, to be used for “economic revitalization”, instead of their current usage. The proposal is to convert these buildings into hotels or “tourist infrastructure”.
What has also been proposed in the Srinagar Metropolitan Plan (SMP) 2035 report is to create “tourist clusters” and “tourist circuits”, which involves integrating hotels, restaurants and shopping complexes with the airport, railway stations, and bus terminals.
Forest Department building at Sheikh Bagh, Lal Chowk
Old Secretariat Complex
District Court Complex at Lal Chowk
Veterinary Hospital at Maisuma
Old Assembly Hall
Divisional Commissioner/ DC’s office complex
Official Residence of Chief Justice (opposite SK Stadium)
The list of official buildings that are recommend for “economic revitalization” include the Forest Department building at Sheikh Bagh, Lal Chowk; the Old Secretariat Complex, the District Court Complex at Lal Chowk; the Veterinary Hospital at Maisuma; the Old Assembly Hall; Budshah Bridge; Divisional Commissioner/ DC’s office complex; the Doordarshan complex; the Official Residence of the Chief Justice of J&K Hich Court (opposite SK Stadium). Other buildings to be transformed into hotels include those located along Church Lane in Sonwar and CAPD godowns at Shaheed Gunj.
The report has further proposed that a central park be developed at Lal Chowk as a multi-functional public space.
“CBD especially the area from Dal Gate to Lal Chowk has plethora of green spaces (which are) disparate and not properly planned. All these spaces include the Polo Ground, Emporium Garden, TRC Park and Ground, Golf Course, Chinar Bagh, Sher-i-Kashmir Park (and they) will need to be integrated into (a) central park providing multi-faceted experiences to people,” the report says, and adds that entry should be free and without any fencing.
A state-of-the-art Tourism and Culture University is proposed to be developed at Silk Factory Rambagh, with the spotlight on local craft, culture and heritage. This university can source its human resources from the Hotel Management Institute at Raj Bagh and the Craft Development Institute at Zadibal, the report suggests.
The estimated tourist population calculated by the Department of Tourism, J&K, for year 2035 is expected to be seven million, for which the report has assumed that 50% of the tourists will be visiting Srinagar during the peak [four] months of summer. It implies an average 28,000 tourists every day, in the year 2035.
Assuming that the average tourist stays two days in Srinagar, the city will require about 56,000 beds per day by the year 2035. At present, the existing bed supply in Srinagar city is 42,875, which means that 13,000 additional beds will be required to cater to the tourism demand by 2035, the report says.