SMC Makes Kitchen Gardens Mandatory for Srinagar Residents

A view of a Srinagar city- KO File Pic : Abid Bhat

Srinagar: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has asked residents in the capital city to grow vegetables and fruits in open spaces around their houses to address the issue of lack of essentials during “emergency situations” like the ongoing lockdown.

Residents of Srinagar city, which is densely populated, often face difficulty in getting essentials like vegetables and fruits due to curfew and prolonged strikes.

The city also has to face difficulties when the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only motorable road linking Kashmir valley to mainland India, gets closed due to snowfall or landslides.

“To address the issue, it shall be mandatory for all citizens/families (in Srinagar), that possess detached/semi-detached plots, should use the open areas around the house/ building for kitchen garden and plantation of fruit trees as it is right time for vegetable farming and planting trees,” said a public notice issued by SMC Joint Commissioner Planning Ghulam Hassan Mir.

According to the notice issued on Saturday, all future proposals for building permission in the city shall include a plan for vegetable farming as well.

“Those intending to apply for residential building permission in Srinagar within the municipal limits shall promote vegetable farming at individual household level and shall submit the proposal accordingly,” it read.

The notice advised the architects and engineers who prepare municipal plans, maps or drawings on behalf of the applicants to necessarily indicate vegetable garden and plantation of fruit trees as part of their proposal.

The SMC notice maintained that while all things of daily use cannot be produced at home, taking to kitchen gardens and planting fruit trees can reduce unnecessary movement of people outside their homes during a pandemic or other situations which require staying home.

The agriculture department has been promoting kitchen garden activities for many years now by providing high-quality seeds and saplings.

The department also provides kitchen garden tool kits at subsidised rates to encourage people to take to this activity, which will reduce the dependency of the valley on vegetables and fruits from outside Kashmir. (PTI)

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