INTRODUCTION: whole of Himalayan region. It lies in

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Last updated: March 28, 2019

INTRODUCTION:Srinagar isthe largest urban center in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and whole of Himalayanregion. It lies in the Kashmir valley on the banks of the Jhelum River, atributary of the Indus, and Dal and Anchar lakes. The city lies between 74º 43´- 74º 52´ E longitude & 34º 0´ – 34º 14´ N latitude. It is about 5200 feetabove mean sea level.

The city has a unique physiographic setup with steep hills inthe East and North East, low lying paddy fields falling in the flood plain ofJhelum in the South and West, the karewas of Budgam in the extreme South andtowards the North are located the uplands with moderate slopes. The famous DalLake is situated in the heart of the city. The city of Srinagar experiences aMediterranean type of climate and receives most of its precipitation during thewinter season in the form of rain and snow.The city has a rich heritage of flora and fauna and is uniquein the sense that the forests are very close to it.

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These forest areas are hometo varied mammalian species like black bear, leopard and world famous Hangul–the only red dear found in India. The main floral species of the city areChinar, Popolar, Willow, Kikar, Han, Bren etc.The city was found by king Ashoka in 272B.C and is one of theoldest urban centers of the region. The city has achieved the status ofmetropolitan urban center in the year 2008 and is currently experiencing higherrates of urban growth as compared to other cities of the country. The city hasexperienced almost no vertical expansion due to fragile geophysical setup ofthe region which in turn has resulted in accelerated horizontal sprawl of thecity.HISTORYOF SRINAGAR:The history of Srinagar goes back to ancient times.

Thepresence of Neolithic and Megalithic cultures has been found at Burzahomarchaeological site, about 10 km from Srinagar. The city was named asSrinagari, established by a king named Ashoka, before 1182 BCE. Based on topographical details, a king Pravarasena IIestablished Srinagar as his capital in 6th century CE, which was then namedPravarapura. Hindu and Buddhist dynasties ruled Kashmir until the 14th century,when several Muslimrulers including the Mughals, took over the city.After thefall of the Mughal empire following the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, Pashtuntribes infiltrated the valley.

The Durrani Empire reigned the city for severaldecades. In 1814, the city came under the influence of the Sikhs, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexedSrinagar.  In1846, the Sikh rulers signed the Treaty of Lahore with the British, providingthe British de facto suzerainty over the Kashmir Valley. They announced GulabSingh as an independent and sovereign ruler of the region until theindependence of India in 1947. On 22 October 1947, several Pashtuntribes from Pakistan entered the valley. This led the Maharaja to sign theinstrument of accession with India, in exchange for protection.

 In 1989,Srinagar became the centre of the Kashmiri uprising against Indian rule. Frommid-80s, the city witnessed violence against the Kashmiri Hindus, leading totheir exodus. The area continues to be a hotbed of separatist activity withrecurrent protests and strikes.POPULATION GROWTH: The pattern of decadal growth however, has not been uniform.In the early decades from 1901-1961A.

D, the growth has been slow due to the lowgrowth rates which has declined from 22.46 percent in 1931 A.D. to 15.71percent in 1961 A.D.

This decline in the growth rate could be attributed to thepolitical unrest and partition of the subcontinent in 1947 A.D. which led to alarge scale migration of people. It was after 1961 A.D. that a new phase ofgrowth of population commenced.

The population of the city increased from 285,257 persons in1961 A.D. to 606,002 persons in 1981 A.D. recording a net addition of 320,745persons with alarming growth rates of 34.31 and 40.

13 percent respectively. Themain factors responsible for this accelerated population growth during thisperiod have been in migration, increase in birth rates and fall in death rates.Besides this, the merger of 62 villages in municipal limit in1971 A.D. and the introduction of urban agglomeration concept which brought anumber of rural areas under the jurisdiction of Srinagar city are indeed theother factors contributing to the rapid growth of the city population.Subsequently from 1981 to 2011 A.D. the population increased to 971,357 personsin 2001, registering a net growth of 365,355 persons in two decades with adecadal growth rate of 30.

14 percent and 122,5837 persons in 2011 recording anet addition of 254,480 persons during the last ten years.AREALEXPANSION:During past century (1901-2011) increasing population due tohigh natural growth rate and in migration for better livelihood opportunitieshave paved way for rapid expansion of this urban center. There has been a slowexpansion of the city during first fifty years and a very fast expansion after1970’s as the total area of the city has increased from 12 Km2 in 1911A.D.

to82 Km2 in 1971A.D., 278.1 Km2 in 2001A.D. and 416 Km2 in 2011A.

D. The analysisof the spatial expansion of the city reveals that growth of the city has beenan exponential.SPATIAL FORMS OF SPRAWL:Sprawl development consists of three basic spatial forms:·        Low-density continuous sprawl: Lowdensity sprawl is the highly consumptive use of land for urban purposes alongthe margins of existing metropolitan areas. This type of sprawl is supported bypiecemeal extensions of basic urban infrastructures such as water, sewer,power, and roads.·        Ribbon sprawl: Ribbonsprawl is development that follows major transportation arteries outward fromurban cores.

Lands adjacent to corridors are developed, but those withoutdirect access remain in rural uses/ covers (Muller et al, 2010). Over time,these nearby “raw” lands may be converted to urban uses as land values increaseand infrastructure is extended perpendicularly from the major roads and lines.·        Leapfrog development sprawl:Leapfrogdevelopment sprawl is a discontinuous pattern of urbanization with patches ofdeveloped lands that are widely separated from each other and from theboundaries, albeit blurred in some cases, of recognized urbanized areas (Harveyand Clark, 1971).The areal sprawl during the period prior to 1971A.

D.indicates that the city has grown roughly in a circular form. However after1971A.

D. the city has experienced tremendous sprawl and has been transformedfrom a circular to a star shaped urban centre. This change in the spatial formof the city during last fortyyears could mainly be attributed to its fragile and challenging geo-ecologicalsetup.

As visualized, there has been practically no spatialexpansion of city limits in the east and the north west of the city due to thepresence of Zabarwan hills and Anchar wetland respectively. This shows thecontrol of natural environment in shaping the spatial form of the city.  The urbanization in Srinagar city has taken place either inthe form of ribbon sprawl, in a linear direction along the highway and othermajor transport corridors (district roads) of the city or in the form ofleapfrog, occupying certain suitable patches as per the accessibility andproximity. This has in turn resulted in large scale fragmentation andencroachment of productive agricultural and horticulture land. The wetlands andlakes of the city that have been at service both economically as well asecologically, since times immemorial have not been spared. The presence ofthese physical and ecological features has played a leading role in shaping theoverall form of the city.

  REFERENCES:·      Bhat, M. S. (2008) Urban System in HimalayasA study ofSrinagar City Region, Dilpreet Publishing Co. New Delhi.·      Harvey, R. O.

and Clark, W. A. V. (1971): The natureand economics of urban sprawl, In Bourne L. S. (eds.

) “Internal Structure ofthe City” Oxford University Press 475–482.·      Taubenbock, H., Wegmann, M., Roth, A., Mehl, H. andDech, S.

(2009): Urbanization in India: spatiotemporal analysis using remotesensing data, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 33, 3: 179-188.       

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