PROTESTS REGARDING the provisions of the 2021 Indore Development Plan (draft) have shifted from the corridors of powers in Bhopal to the venerable precincts of North Block.
Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan has filed a written complaint to Vijay Singh, Union Secretary, Department of Road Transport and Highways, opposing the change of land use along the Bypass Road.
Tai, as Sumitra is popularly known, is also learnt to have protested clearances given to colonisers at the site allegedly in violation of the National Highways (land and tariffs) Act 2002.
Singh, it may be recalled, has earlier served as Chief Secretary of the State. In her missive, Sumitra is learnt to have pointed out that opening up areas along the Bypass for residential purposes, as proposed in the 2021 draft would lead to numerous violation of the Highways Act, which decrees a minimum distance of 75 metres from the road centre to any built up structure.
In the absence of a service road along the Bypass, inhabitants of 18 villages and those residing in the newly-built colonies will be forced to use the same road turning the 32.2 km-long bypass into a thoroughfare.
It may be recalled that Sumitra had earlier made a similar complaint with the State Government adding that power to authorise constructions along the Bypass be transferred from the concerned panchayat to the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC).
When contacted the Indore MP confirmed the reports. “I have brought violations by colonies coming up at the Bypass to the Secretary’s attention,” she said during a telephonic conversation.
She pressed for construction authorising powers to be transferred from panchayats to the IMC especially in areas slated to be brought within the municipal fold. “Within the next 4-5 years the IMC will be responsible for villages along the Bypass and they will have to pay the price for the mistakes of the current Panchayat office-bearers,” she pointed out.