“It shall be mandatory for all citizens/families that possess detached/semi-detached plots shall use the open areas around the house/building for kitchen garden and plantation of fruit”…….SMCBy Yana Mir
To encourage urban farming, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is making mandatory farming within the premises of the houses mandatory.
Amid the nationwide COVID19 lockdown, the SMC has asked people to use detached portions of their residential houses for growing vegetables and fruits.
The public notice issued by the office of Joint Commissioner Planning Ghulam Hassan Mir said that ongoing lockdown due to coronavirus has caged families in their homes and has a lesson for all thinkers, policy makers, planners as well as homemakers.
The notice reads the need to reach out for basic necessities like food and medicines requires new strategies.
“Medicine in general cannot be manufactured at household level. However, vegetables and fruits farming can be encouraged at individual household level,” it reads.
“We are aware that many conscious citizens, out of their own interest, do venture into vegetable farming (kitchen gardens) at household level in Srinagar but the practice is not common,” it reads.
It says people know unavoidable circumstances like public strikes, shutdowns, closing of national highway and extreme bad weather necessitates inclusion of farming like agriculture and horticulture at household level into the city.
“Therefore, to address the issue, it shall be mandatory for all citizens/families that possess detached/semi-detached plots shall use the open areas around the house/building for kitchen garden and plantation of fruit trees/landscaping as at present. It is the right time to go for vegetable farming and plantation of trees,” it reads.
It says those intending to apply for residential building permission in Srinagar within municipal limits shall promote vegetable farming at their individual household level and shall submit proposal accordingly which includes vegetable garden and plantation of fruit trees.
“As such, technical persons like architects and engineers who prepare or submit municipal plans, drawings and maps for and on behalf of intending citizens for residential permission shall necessarily indicate vegetable garden and plantation of fruit trees as part of their proposal,” it reads.
Joint Commissioner Planning Ghulam Hassan Mir said the Corporation was also going to write to agriculture and horticulture departments to provide seeds and other necessary assistance to households in municipal limits to encourage the greenery.
According to official data, Srinagar has 169 parks covering about 287 hectares against a minimum standard of 570 hectares provided in the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) guidelines.