Congress organised a “Jan Jagran Rally” in Tulsi Nagar and Shivaji Nagar areas of Bhopal on Monday to protest against the government plan to “redensify” the areas under the Union government’s smart city project.
Under the redensification plan, the government wants to clear the areas and develop them again in a planned way.
Madhya Pradesh has sent a Rs 3,437-crore proposal to the Union ministry of urban development to develop Bhopal under the smart city project. The state government has chosen a 359-acre land of Shivaji and Tulsi Nagar area of the city for the “redevelopment”. A major part of the two areas has government buildings allotted to the employees, besides one lakh trees.
The Congress, opposing the demolition of government buildings and felling of the trees in the area, held the rally in protest. The Congress party members, led by state president Arun Yadav and senior Congress leader Mukesh Nayak, and the employees shouted slogans against the state government and demanded change in the plan.
“It is a matter of environment of Bhopal. To cut down one lakh trees is not a small issue. In the name of development, government can’t do injustice with the state capital’s greenery,” Yadav said. “We are not protesting against the Smart City project. We just want change in the land under the redensification plan. Government can use 300 acre barren land of Jambori Maidan and land available in other parts of city including Kolar,” said Nayak. “If the government really wants to develop the areas, it can reconstruct the government houses which are in a dilapidated condition in vertical manner without cutting the trees,” Nayak added.
However, minister of state for urban development Lal Singh Arya said the rally was “nothing but a political stunt”. “Now, the Congress party has started protesting against development of the state,” he added.