By 2035, Anantnag, Sopore, Baramulla will be added to cities list of Valley
Srinagar: Greater Anantnag, Baramulla and Sopore will be added to cities list in Valley along with Srinagar in next two decades.
“Greater Anantnag will grow into a major city with around 500,000 population, whereas Sopore and Baramulla each with more than 200,000 population will add to the City’s list,” reads the report.
About 32 towns will be mid- sized towns and 15 as small towns in 10,000-20,000 population range.
The report says that Srinagar has two major urban agglomerations to its north and south which include the Anantnag, Bijbehara and Mattan and Baramulla -Sopore Urban Agglomerations both having the potential to grow as countermagnets to Srinagar city.
Anantnag-Bijbehara-Mattan (ABM) agglomeration is estimated to have 650,000 population where Baramulla-Sopore Urban Agglomeration is estimated to have 475,000 population in 2035.
“Projected Population The Kashmir Valley as per the population estimates of 2015 has 65 towns which include 48 statutory towns as well; out of which 20 towns have population more than 20,000 (Census 2011),” the reports says, adding that Srinagar is the only city with more than one million population with its defined ‘city region’ has a population of 1.9 million whereas the three urban areas of Annantnag, Baramulla and Sopore being class I towns have more than one lakh population each.
This will not only help to counter regional migrations to Srinagar city which is riddled with many thresholds but will also go a long way in the balanced and sustained development of the region.
There are five towns in the range 50,000-99,999 in the Valley whereas 11 towns having population in the range 20,000-49,999 as per census 2011 figures.
Kashmir will have an urban population of 5.5 million in comparison to the existing urban population of 2.95 million—an increase of 2.55 million in two decades. From these figures, the Srinagar Metropolitan Region [SMR] will have a population of about three million excluding the floating and tourist populations.
To total urban population of the State in 2011, the Kashmir Region accounts for 63%, the Jammu Region 35% and the Ladakh Region just 2%.
Out of the total urban population of 3.4 million, Kashmir Valley holds 2.2 million, and out of 2.2 million urban population in the Valley, Srinagar city accounts for 55% whereas Srinagar Metropolitan Region i.e.; the Master Plan Area of 766 sq. km shares more than 75% of the urban population of the Valley.
@By Iqbal Kirmani