Home » News » India » Making Downtown Srinagar A 'Shoppers’ Paradise' Too: Plan to Improve Streets, Markets to Attract Tourists
2-MIN READ

Making Downtown Srinagar A 'Shoppers’ Paradise' Too: Plan to Improve Streets, Markets to Attract Tourists

By: Aman Sharma

Edited By: Manjiri Joshi

News18.com

Last Updated: December 06, 2022, 15:29 IST

New Delhi, India

One of the plans in the blueprint to restore Downtown, Srinagar. (News18)

One of the plans in the blueprint to restore Downtown, Srinagar. (News18)

News18 has accessed a document with a blueprint of the project for Downtown, Srinagar or Shehr-e-Khas which will be completed in four months next year. This comes after a recent plan to install a giant ferris wheel on an island inside the Dal Lake

The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration has a plan for improvement of the facades of heritage markets of Downtown, Srinagar or Shehr-e-Khas such as Zaina Kadal and Maharaj Gunj to bring in more tourists, visual harmony and improve the aesthetics drastically.

News18 has accessed a document with a blueprint of the project that will be completed in four months next year. This comes after a recent plan to install a giant ferris wheel on an island inside the Dal Lake on the lines of the ‘London Eye’.

The latest project is significant as the area has been much-neglected over the years due to it being perceived as a hub of terrorist activity as well as stone-pelting and of street protests. The bazaars around Zaina Kadal and Maharaj Gunj in Downtown offer special varieties of dried vegetables, dried fish, besides herbs used to treat various ailments. Maharaj Gunj was formerly the city’s epicentre, a spot where wholesale dealers transacted business and pilgrims flocked to neighboring shrines. But the shops that sell famous copper ware and spices here are no longer easily identifiable and have become unappealing, deterring visitors from shopping, says a document with News18.

They also lack of infrastructure, adequate public amenities, with the buildings in dilapidated conditions and unavailability of parking space. “The improvement of facades in the historic core of Srinagar will have a multi-pronged approach, involving various stakeholders and community members to work together in the process. These interventions will help revive the historic sense of the delineated area which over the years has transformed due to inappropriate interventions, vandalism and ad-hoc developments,” the document says, adding that the façade improvements will also cover the identified streets in Downtown.

RELATED STORIES

The Shehr-e-Khas, current old centre, starts from the Jhelum River’s right bank. The region retains its significance as a ‘must-see’ destination for the old city’s shrines and mosques. It is heavily populated with historic structures dating from the fourteenth century.

THE BIG PLAN

The administration plans to roll out urban improvements solutions such as sidewalks, surface finishes, signages, street furniture, street lights, urban artifacts, which will eventually improve the character of the Downtown area.

“Craft trails, heritage trails, riverfront trails will be implemented to promote the local culture and thus activate the area. The main alleyways from SR Gunj market and side of Budshah Dumath can be refurbished with surface finishes, kiosks and other soft commerce facilities and illumination,” the document with News18 says.

ALSO READ | ‘Excellent. I’m Also Tempted…’: What PM Modi Said to Twitter User Urging Him to ‘Must Visit’ Kashmir

The big idea, as per the document, is to help “regain the lost connection the (Old Srinagar) city had with river Jhelum” and will involve an entire urban component pallet for street finishes, street furniture, kiosks, lighting and signboards.

“Simple interventions like cleaning up the façade, tidying up the electrical wires, lighting and illumination can bring in visual harmony and improve the aesthetics drastically,” the document has outlined as the plan.

There is also a plan for shop front treatments and shop boards to enhance the street character and add to pedestrian experience, shop shutters to be replaced with wooden doors and name boards of shops to be standardized and of defined shape and size.

Read all the Latest India News here

first published:December 06, 2022, 15:12 IST
last updated:December 06, 2022, 15:29 IST
Read More