The Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) formation is creating ripples among senior bureaucrats in Haryana as they are not for making GDA an all powerful body and would rather retain control of the body.
In a meeting chaired by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday in Chandigarh, the CM was keen on the formation of the new authority that aims to take up development projects in the city. However, there is a deliberate attempt to dilute the powers of the authority and make it a toothless agency, sources said.
There is strong resistance from a section of senior bureaucrats in Chandigarh on the issue of formation of GDA. Sources said they feel that the controlling power of GDA — the city that generates about 50% of the state’s revenue — should remain with Chandigarh. This is leading to a delay in the formation of GDA, claimed sources.
The state-level internal meeting was attended by senior IAS official, including RK Khullar, principal secretary to the chief minister.
The senior bureaucrats echoed that the formation of GDA was not required in the first place. “During the meeting the senior bureaucrats said GDA can be given the power to control urban local bodies, forest and environment clearance. However, planning and licence for development should remain with Chandigarh,” said a source.
Khattar’s intention was clear regarding the formation of GDA as while addressing a press conference in Gurgaon on September 5, he had announced that the process of forming the GDA will start on Haryana Day (November 1).
This proposal of formation of an alternative body apart from the existing municipal corporation, district administration and Haryana Urban Development Authority was felt as different proposals and projects requires approvals from different department, which causes unnecessary obstacles.
Union minister and local MP Rao Inderjit Singh has been demanding a single authority for all types of development works for years. He said he had taken up the issue of GDA formation with the prime minister’s office and said the local authorities should be given powers to take action.
“The bureaucrats sitting in Chandigarh are making schemes for Gurgaon without understanding the ground status which leads to slow development. GDA should not be a toothless body as has been the case of Gurgaon Municipal Corporation,” Singh said.
“Though Gurgaon generates the maximum revenue for the state, it is continuously neglected. The city is a perfect example of a victim of the injustice done to it by all previous governments,” he said.