Let Mr. Hakim, Chief Town Planner of Kashmir complete the Master Plan for Srinagar.
Dear Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh:
A Proposed Master Plan for Srinagar is being completed and was scheduled for submission to the government by October 26, 2016. The proposed plan, in the making for about a year, was being done under the direction of, Mr. Iftikhar Hakim, Chief of the Town Planner Organization. Mr Iftikhar Hakim is a highly qualified, experienced City Planner. He is an honest and dedicated professional who by his diligent work has earned the respect of his subordinates and the general public.
Mr. Hakim has recently been relieved of his duties and transferred to Srinagar Municipality. Mr. Hakim’s replacement is an architect with very limited planning education, and has no work experience in Master Planning of cities.
What is the rational for this last minute change in the planning organization leadership?
Allegations are that the appointment is nepotism. The new head of the planning organization has superseded many existing employees within the planning organization who are better educated and experienced in city planning, compared to the architect who is to head the organization.
Allegations are that Mr. Hakim’s transfer is also at the behest of vested interests who want a free hand for land speculation. Land speculators do not want provisions for green belt areas and other public interest provisions in the proposed Master Plan. Having an inexperienced person, who would be prone to influence, officiate the planning organization would give the land mafia in Kashmir a free hand to turn Srinagar into a Cement-nagar.
This petition is a demand not to succumb to the dictates of the land speculators.
Please restore Mr Hakim as head of the town planning organization, and allow him to continue and complete a credible planning process for the Srinagar Master Plan.
Originator and first signer of the petition is :
Rafique A Khan
A personal note for Dr. Singh.
I am a city planner, educated in architecture and city planning in India, and in public administration in America. I practice city planning, specialization in redevelopment planning and urban design. For forty plus years I am a student of Kashmir Affairs. My particular interest is to help conserve and enhance Kashmir’s natural environment, www.kashmirfoa.org
You Sir are a historian. Fate has offered you an opportunity to captain Kashmir’s future. Do not let the history of Kashmir count you with the likes of the destroyer Tarter Zulzu. Instead, captain conservation and enhancement of Kashmiri’s natural and man-made environment, and thus join the ranks of visionaries like Pandit Suyya and Budshah of Kashmir.
Rafique A Khan
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