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Law buried under urbanisation

NCRPB has failed in its very purpose of de-congesting Delhi by developing well-planned and economically self-sustained low density towns around national capital at a distance, alleged planners. Vinod Rajput reports.

noida Updated: Jul 23, 2013 11:01 IST
Vinod Rajput

Do you know the reason of perennial traffic snarls and cropping-up of countless overpopulated dingy localities in and around Delhi. Precisely - its because of the failure of national capital region planning board (NCRPB), which was formed by centre in 1985, to contain haphazard urbanisation in Delhi and its neighbouring towns- Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandshahr and Gurgaon among others, alleged experts.

NCRPB has failed in its very purpose of de-congesting Delhi by developing well-planned and economically self-sustained low density towns around national capital at a distance, alleged planners.

Planners alleged that much touted planned industrial city- Noida as per NCRPB's approved regional plan meant to be home to 12 lakh population only by 2021, and the authority had a mandate to provide civic amenities, infra or housing facilities for that much population only.

However, on the contrary, as per Noida's master plan-2031 draft, the city already has a population of over 10 lakh in 2010. And the Noida authority claim that it has already developed an infrastructure, built housing and allotted land to builders to provide habitation for 25 lakh population.

"NCRPB as per its regional plan 2021 had allowed the authority to built facilities only for 12 lakh population that too by 2021. Before any further direction, the authority has no right to urbanise more area. The authority keep changing land-uses especially from green to commercial or residential to facilitate greedy builders, which is against the NCRPB act," said Raghuveer Singh a Noida based retired naval officer and planner.

Officials of both Noida and Greater Noida authority refused to comment on the issue of NCRPB act's rampant violations. However, they off the record admit that respective UP state governments in connivance with union urban development ministry (NCRPB functions under this ministry) to facilitate builders ignore NCRPB act.

"Since Noida and Greater Noida are industrial development authority, we are governed by UP industrial act-1976. But we follow NCRPB's some of the directions," said an authority official.

"Noida Extension is the perfect example how NCRPB let local authorities create an urban mess, and force common man to suffer at the hands of local babus and builders. With the kind of mindless planning and rampant violation of planning norms, Noida is on way to become a slum," said Pradeep Kharbanda architect and town planner from school of planning and architecture Delhi.

Ghaziabad, Meerut or Bulandshahr or any other NCR district for that matter governed by NCRPB act, are booming with slums, unauthorised localities and with no industrial growth to be seen, contrary to the objective of this act.

"I do not know the reason of why the unauthorised or unplanned development in NCR towns could not be curbed. You better ask local officials," Naini Jayaseelan secretary of NCRPB said angrily.

Planners say people from all parts of country continue thronging Delhi for livelihood because NCRPB failed to de-centralise economic activity to other NCR towns like Meerut, Bulandhshar, or Bhagpat etc. "Delhi is bursting at seams for reasons everybody knows. But now its alarming situation as in Noida an ambulance do not get a free way during peak hours because what has happened with Delhi, has begun to happen with Noida now," said Manoj Kumar a Noida based planner.

"We have demolished 12 unauthorised localities recently. And on way on regularise 17 illegal ones after state government approvals. We are following NCRPB's act norms," said Mahaveer Singh Arya secretary of Bulandhshar development authority (BKDA), who failed to tell how NCRPB is playing a role in city's urbanisation.