INDORE IS all set to double in size with the proposal to expand municipal boundaries to be tabled at the next District Planning Committee (DPC) meeting amid concerns that the IMC was biting off more than it could chew.
The proposal calls for incorporating 27 villages adjoining the present City limits and will increase the municipal area by 135.26 square kilometres, bringing it to 265.43 sq km or twice the current size of 130.17 sq kms. It will also add lakh-odd new residents to the City. Two villages from Sanver and one from Mhow tehsil have been included in the proposed expansion plan.
The last time City boundaries were enlarged was way back in ’76 when 11 villages, including Khajrana, Sirpur and Niranjanpur, were brought within the municipal fold.
Pending since May 2006 when it was ratified by the IMC general council the proposal moved into fast-track mode after Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma complained about the tardy pace to Secretary, Urban Administration Development, Sewaram during his recent visit.
The decision to append nearby villages to the City area came after the 2011 City Development Plan (draft) increased the planning area from 214.10 sq kms dictated by the 1974 master plan to 504.87 sq kms by including 90 villages adjoining Indore.
Twenty of these are already located within City boundaries and the IMC administration decided to add a further 27 bringing the total to 47.
While it may provide much needed breathing space to a City bursting at the seams the move has drawn flak from critics who say the move would stretch the Corporation’s already scarce resources to breaking point.
“The Corporation cannot even provide basic services in the area currently under its jurisdiction. So how can it even think of extending municipal boundaries?” queries Mayor-in-Council member Shankar Yadav.
“Let the Corporation first provide good sanitation, roads and adequate water in the City and then think of including adjoining villages to urban limits.”
Increasing the municipal area will not lead to a deterioration in civic services. In fact, it will net the IMC additional revenue amounting to crores of rupees from property and water taxes and this will help us improve our performance.
Anyway, Indore’s growth is a fait accompli. It will continue to spread whether the expansion is officially recognised or not, as has been shown by the number of colonies along the Bypass. Incorporating adjoining villages into the municipal area will help convert numerous de facto urban pockets into de jure City neighbourhoods and provide residents access to water supply, sanitation, roads and other attendant benefits.
Indore Municipal Commissioner