SC stays city Master Plan 2021
THE SUPREME Court on Monday stayed the Lucknow Master Plan-2021 that provided for acquisition and conversion of green belt areas of the city for residential purposes.
A bench, comprising Justices H.K. Sema and R.V. Raveendran, directed that status quo be maintained vis-à-vis the plan. This order effectively halts the Lucknow Development Authority’s plan to acquire and convert such land for lease and sale to developers.
The order came on petitions, filed by local people, opposing the final plan. They opposed it on two grounds — that it had ignored an internal committee report while finalising the final plan as well as the fact that the concerned areas had been shown in the draft master plan as green areas.
While the larger ramifications of the apex court’s order are yet to be studied, its immediate outcome has forced LDA to abandon its plan to allot some 600 plots in Vyom Khand of Gomti Nagar through a lottery draw on March 29, 30 and 31.
Some 9,480 applicants have deposited Rs 60 crore by way of registration money with the development agency for a plot under the scheme. This included 2, 458 aspirants, who had applied for a 160 square metre plot, 3,936 contenders for a 200 sqmt plots, 1861 hopefuls for a 300 sqmt plot and another 1225 for a 400 sq mt plot in the proposed scheme.
In fact, this 700-acre housing scheme, planned on low-lying land, has been the bone of contention between the LDA and the farmers ever since its inception. Here it is pertinent to mention that the petitioners have not challenged the acquisition of land but its use by the LDA for developing a housing colony on it.
The town planning experts seem to agree with them on this count.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity, one such town planner, who was part of the expert committee that prepared the draft Master Plan 2021, said the area in question was unfit for residential development. “This is because the land along the Shaheed Path Expressway, on which the scheme has been planned is low-lying and prone to floods,” he pointed out. He said they had come to this conclusion after taking the readings of Gomti’s water level, both at the Gau Ghat and Gomti Nagar Barrage, during monsoon. These factors, he said, were taken into account on the basis of recent recommendations of a Disaster Management Committee set up by the Union Ministry of Home.
“Consequently, we had incorporated our recommendations and suggested that the de