LC panel calls for ‘recasting flawed Master Plans’

“Government should come up with a legal framework within ten days to keep in abeyance sealing and demolition of illegal constructions that have taken place till December 2013, until a comprehensive Master Plan is put in place”

JAMMU: The House Committee of Legislative Council constituted to look into the use of residential areas for commercial purposes Thursday said there was “crucial need” for recasting the Master Plans for Srinagar, Jammu, Katra and other urban centres on immediate basis.
During a meeting here, Committee members Sheikh Gh Rasool, BR Kundal and Jugal Kishore besides chairman Devender Singh Rana expressed anguish over the “flaws in the Master Plans and after detailed discussion over different aspects of urban development observed that not only had Zonal Plans not been prepared but satellite mapping had also not been done.”
“In the absence of a comprehensive Master Plan certain elements have taken cover and misused the system to their advantage, the Committee regretted,” an official handout said.
“While emphasising the need for recasting the Master Plans, the Committee felt that this is imperative because the development of towns is a continuous process as these are linked with economic resurgence that has taken place in the wake of peace during the recent past,” the handout said.
The Committee discussed various aspects of conversion of residential areas into commercial in Jammu, Srinagar and Katra and unanimously decided that the menace of illegal construction has to be stopped forthwith. “Violations cannot be allowed and accountability of officials will have to be fixed with regard to those who connive in illegal constructions,” the handout said.
The Committee suggested that the government come up with a legal framework within ten days to keep in abeyance sealing and demolition of illegal constructions that have taken place till December 2013, until a comprehensive Master Plan is put in place which will suggest remedies for past violations and further needs, keeping in view urban growth and commercial needs.
Meanwhile, the committee also proposed the government to devise an effective monitoring mechanism for ensuring that no violations take place till the new Master Plan is framed. It also stressed the need for periodical review through an organized monitoring mechanism.
The committee emphasized that a comprehensive Master Plan should be formulated on fast track basis with all zonal and detailed plans.
Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri, Secretary Housing & Urban Dev Department Satish Nehru, Vice Chairman SDA Ishfaat Noor Barlas, Vice Chairman JDA K L Khajuri, Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation Kiran Wattal, Chief Town Planner Jammu Joginder Singh, Deputy Secretary LC Ishfaq Ahmed Wani also attended the meeting .

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