‘Srinagar Master Plan fictitious, exists only on papers’

JAMMU: Various legislators Wednesday slammed the  state government for being slow in coming up with the Srinagar Master Plan, calling it “a fictitious plan which exists only on papers.”
The legislators lambasted  the government for extending the area of Srinagar to other districts without taking into confidence local populace and seeking expert opinion on the issue.
“The government is extending the area for the plan without executing earlier works under the plan. If they are extending the area that means agriculture area is shrinking because of this,” PDP MLC, Mohammad Ashraf Mir said.
Mir had sought the details about the master plan regarding amount, time completion for its private consultancy to provide expertise, besides area included in the master plan.
“The government is providing fictitious tales about the master plan that exists only on papers till date,” Mir said.
Speaking on the master plan, PDP’s MLC and chief spokesperson Syed Nayeem Akhtar said Srinagar is in crisis because of haphazard manner of settlements and constructions plans.
“They talk about building Srinagar on new lines but settlements are coming up in haphazard manner.  Srinagar is being developed by land mafia but not the government,” Akhtar said.
Ruling National Conference legislator, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool stressed  also accused the government of being non-serious towards framing the revised Master plan  within a time- frame.
“We are not able to understand if the plan has been extended to district Ganderbal and if any expert opinion has been taken regarding the matter. The government seems non-serious in this regard so far,” Rasool said.
Congress MLC Bashir Ahmad Magray asked government to set up  an office to seek public opinion regarding the Srinagar Master plan .
The government assured the members that the best expertise is being used fort Srinagar Master Plan-2021 and told Legislative Council that 111 consultancies  had applied to provide expertise in the master plan and only one was  selected.
The government in its response said the time period for its private consultancy’s expertise was 18 months from the date of signing of agreements February 2012. However, the government said, extension was granted for 285 days from the date of signing of agreement for additional area January 2013 with an extension amount fixed, Rs 1,29,75000.
“A private consultancy Sai Consultancy have been outsourced for revision of the Srinagar master Plan who were lowest bidder for the purpose and till date no payment has been released to it,” Minister of State for Urban Development and urban Local Bodies said.
He also informed the house that so far no change has been incorporated in the draft Master Plan due to the fact of the draft having been put in public domain.
However, the time period as framed is to the exclusion of the time required for meeting suggestions or objections of the general public and the decision of evaluation committee.
The areas of district Ganderbal included, apart from the areas of Bandipor, Pulwama, Baramulla and Budgam districts.
The draft Srinagar Master Plan has been placed in the public domain once, but was withdrawn due to the fact that the required notification of the government was pending which is pre-requisite as per the J&K Development Act, 1970.

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