iconimg Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 24, 2013
The UT administration's endeavour to involve general public in giving a final shape to the Chandigarh's draft master plan 2031 has evoked an average response as the department of urban planning has received just 169 objections/ suggestions.
After finalising the draft of the master plan on July 15, objections were invited from the general public and August 15 was set as the deadline which was later extended to September 10.
Besides the state governments of Punjab and Haryana, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Panjab University, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC), Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Chandigarh-Punjab chapter, and Institute for Spatial Planning and Environment Research (ISPER), Panchkula, are some of the prominent institutions and bodies which took part in the exercise.

The administration had, surprisingly, priced a copy of master plan at `6,000 and the copy available on the official website of administration was incomplete. Only 635 pages out of 767 pages were uploaded on website.

Punjab and Haryana high court lawyer Ajay Jagga had even lodged a complaint with the ministry of home affairs (MHA), challenging the decision of the administration to charge such a high price for a copy of the draft master plan.

Talking to HT, Jagga said it was clear that those who prepared the draft master plan were not at all interested that people should go through the plan and raise objections, that's why such exorbitant price was fixed for a copy of draft plan.

City-based architect and chairman of the building bylaws committee of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal Vinod Joshi said the genuine demands of the traders, owners of malls, IT buildings and industrial buildings etc. were not redressed by the authorities while preparing the master plan. Therefore, people were not very enthusiastic to place before the administration their suggestions or demands as they were aware that the authorities were very much adamant to implement whatever pre-decided by them.

"Unless the administration creates friendly atmosphere in administrative set up and to redress the genuine demands of residents, it cannot get encouraging response from public," Joshi added.
However, UT chief architect Sumit Kaur appeared to be satisfied with the response and said it would serve the purpose of finalising the draft master plan.

What's next

The administration will now constitute a board of inquiry to look into the objections received from the general public and recommend any amendments if required.
Chief architect Sumit Kaur said the board would have five members who would deliberate upon the objections. After getting a clearance from the board, the draft would be notified.

Some objections & suggestions

1) Agriculture land of Kaimbwala is designated to be forest and extended village settlement is also indicated as forest
2) No specific regional plan for the tricity of for guiding future growth in the periphery
3) No specific plan for preventing any further implementation of ad-hoc projects in the periphery
4) Re-densification of Phase 1 of the city and the existing infrastructure should be augmented
5) Little emphasis on traffic management, despite mounting traffic and parking congestion being a serious issue
6) 2001 census has been taken as base point for estimating the population instead of 2011 census
7) Habitation for future population
8) Identification of sites for civic amenities
9) Development of villages
10) Increase in floor area ratio of SCFs/SCOs from 2.5 to 3 in the Phase 1 of Chandigarh