FORMER MINISTER Sajjan Singh Verma today called for architects of the 2021 Indore Development Plan (draft) to be hanged for attempting to kill off a vibrant city by proposing mindless and criminal land use allocations.
In a scathing critique Verma likened the master plan draft to the infamous Bhumi murder, declaring that just as the perpetrators in the former had killed a defenceless young woman, the town planners, in cahoots with the land mafia, had tried to slay the City’s bhoomi (land).
He called for the services of a nationally renowned agency or individual — RITES and Charles Correa were the names cited by him — to prepare the master plan. .
The former minister’s remarks came during a debate on the master plan draft titled “Master Plan: Mastery or Mystery” organised at the Press Club today. A cross section of society, including BJP MLA Mahendra Hardia, City BJP president Ramesh Mendola, former Director, Town and Country Planning Department R S Gattani and senior journalist Dr B S Bhandari participated in the discussion.
Although opinion was divided about controversial proposals, the shifting of Pipliyahana stadium allocation of residential localities on the bypass, the participants unanimously voted against the scrapping of the master plan.
They, however, insisted that the contentious issues were forwarded for approval to a committee comprising professionals, technical experts and ordinary people with deep-rooted affinity for the City.
Earlier, MLA Mahendra Hardia asserted that the large number of objections filed against the master plan draft was sufficient proof, if any was needed, that it did not answer the ordinary resident’s requirement.
“Even the IDA and IMC were not taken into confidence forcing the two agencies to file over 300 objections against various provisions made in the draft”, he pointed out.
Hardia also criticised the failure to assign zonal plans and warned that this could result in a replication of the 1975 master plan where only two of the 11 zonal plans were prepared.
City BJP chief Ramesh Mendola was of the view that the master plan should be prepared by politicians in association with eminent residents. “They understand the people’s needs”.
Gattani stressed that the Centre’s assistance was in no way mandatory for drawing an elaborate blueprint for developing the City. He further demanded that Pithampur, Dewas, Dhar and Badwani should be treated as satellite townships of Indore in the master plan.