Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Srinagar, June 05 (Only Kashmir): Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday approved the holistic project of revitalization of Shahr-e-Khas (Old Srinagar City) focusing on its natural, cultural, craft and built heritage. He also gave nod to the starter of the project involving Rs. 24 crore for constructing a 2 kilometre pedestrian Tourist Trail from Nawakadal to Cement Kadal (Chattabal) to develop craft bazaars, retail outlets, refreshment kiosks, production centres and other facilities. The main street will be pedestrian and if found feasible battery operated vehicles can be allowed along the street.
Taking presentation of the roadmap prepared under his directions for the holistic development of Shahr--e-Khas including promotion of craft clusters in 10 identified locations, at a high level meeting here, the Chief Minister also directed for working out a strategy for developing housing colonies for people living in congested areas of old Srinagar city.
Omar Abdullah said that the main objective of the new development concept translated into a holistic project for revitalization of Shahr-e-Khas is aimed at providing necessary succour to a large population of artisans by developing craft clusters, generating economic activities, encouraging tourist flow, developing palatable lung places and upgrading basic amenities alongwith beautification of the historic Srinagar city.
The Chief Minister said that involvement of Tourism and Housing and Urban Development Departments should be factored in the overall roadmap aimed at comprehensive development of Shahr-e-Khas and the artisans here. He stressed on dovetailing the efforts to obtain effective and meaningful results within the fixed time frame.
 The new concept for construction of Heritage Craft Tourist Trail from Nawakadal to Cement Kadal (Chattabal) and construction of River Front Craft Plaza has been derived from the existing similar heritage sites established in Muscat (Oman), New York, China (Chengdu) and Sabermati (India). The project also involves upgradation of the street pavement, covring of drains, laying of sewer lines, underground electric cabling, development of litterbins at every 200 meters, solar street lights at every 200 meters, street furniture and signages, refreshment kiosks, public conveniences, diagnostic clinics and about half dozen ghats and access points to river Jhelum.
The Chief Minister also received presentation pertaining to development of craft clusters in Jamia Masjid, Safakadal-Qamarwari, Idgah, Noorbagh, Chattabal, Soura, Zadibal, Boatpora,-Suhama and Kanchan Peerpora and directed for working out area and craft specific projects in these wards factoring in beautification, economic activities generation, heritage preservation and tourist attraction aspects adding that more areas of the old Srinagar city need to be incorporated in the overall development programme.
Speaking in the meeting, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar while lauding the Chief Minister’s keenness for revitalization and beautification of old Srinagar city alongwith generating economic activities and tourist flow in this part, said that there is need to bring Habba Kadal, Chinkral Mohalla, Fateh Kadal, Khankhahi Mohalla, Bohri Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Hawal, Zadibal and other core areas of Shahr-e-Khas in the overall roadmap being prepared for the development of Shahr-e-Khas.
The Chief Minister directed for incorporating all these areas in the main project adding that details for operationalizing various components of the project should be discussed with Housing and Tourism Departments to dovetail efforts. He also directed for factoring in Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s schemes for artisan development. (OK)


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