A 1995 batch IAS officer, Ghaziabad Development Authority’s (GDA) vice-chairman Santosh Kumar Yadav has previously served as the Ghaziabad district magistrate in 2004-2006.
He also holds the post of NCR Planning Board’s additional commissioner in Ghaziabad. He spoke to Peeyush Khandelwal on a range of issues.
Ghaziabad lags behind other NCR cities in terms of development. How do you intend to change that?
Ghaziabad has a rich cultural and traditional background. Here, old and new areas co-exist. Still, we feel the city lacks a cosmopolitan character. We want to develop its infrastructure and improve connectivity. Housing will be more planned now and traffic problems will be tackled firmly. We also plan to develop Metro routes, flyovers, roads and golf courses.
Traffic is the biggest problem faced by commuters and residents alike.
We want to solve this problem within six months. Three highways pass through Ghaziabad. We have laid out a traffic decongestion plan for NH-24 and NH-58 and held meetings with NHAI. Several contingency plans like preparation of Pontoon-bridges are underway. Connectivity with Noida and Greater Noida will also be improved. Recently decks have been cleared for a road connecting Greater Noida to NH-24. We are also given final touches to NH-24 -NH-58 Link Road. We have also planned a 20-km elevated road to connect NH-24 and NH-58 to Loni.
The city just has a 2.57km Metro network.
We have recently given an in-principle approval to fund a Metro link till Loni. We will fund one-third of the project. The link from Dilshad Garden to New Bus Stand has been expedited and agreed on the funding pattern for R991 crore.
What are the plans in terms of providing affordable housing development?
Indirapuram and trans-Hindon areas are almost saturated now. Housing will now come up majorly near NH-24, NH-58, Loni and Muradnagar areas. Metro connectivity will boost this sector The areas facing land acquisition problems are being dealt with on a priority basis. Things are moving in positive direction.
People who have moved to the city are facing various problems with builders in terms of implementation of the UP Apartment Act. How will it be remedied?
We have appointed a committee that will hold regular meetings with RWAs and builders. Solutions would be found amicably. We are also empowering RWAs and holding regular meetings with them to look into their issues.
How do you intend to change the working of the GDA which is mired in red-tapism?
We have asked residents to meet us any time from 10am to 12noon with their problems. We are also coming up with a call centre to address their problems. Our officer in-charge will resolve the issues first hand. We have also enforced strict discipline among our staff members. Our staff now does meditation and yoga during evenings and everyone is instructed to join the session.
The city does not have any Solid Waste Management facility yet. Power infrastructure has suffered due to land handover problems.
We have asked the developers to hand us around 35 acres of land at Galand for the SWM facility. They have already given us 15 acres. The builder has given us in writing to hand over land for a 400KV power sub-station at Indirapuram.