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Finalizing Jammu Master Plan is nobody’s concern; several deadlines already missed

DPR for developing Tawi on Sabarmati pattern yet to be prepared

*JDA unaware of source of funding for ambitious project
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 6: Despite missing several deadlines, the finalization of revised Master Plan for Jammu is going on at snail’s pace because of non-serious approach of the concerned authorities of Jammu Development Authority and lack of monitoring on the part of those at the helm of affairs in the Housing and Urban Development Department. Moreover, Detailed Project Report (DPR) for development of River Tawi front on the pattern of Sabarmati River in Gujarat is yet to be formulated, which otherwise is the foremost step towards execution of this ambitious project.
The process of formulation of revised Master Plan for Jammu was set into motion in early 2015 in order to ensure planned development of winter capital. This had become imperative because of several drawbacks in the Master Plan-2021, which is presently in vogue, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
For the completion of this important task several deadlines were fixed by the Government but the concerned authorities of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) failed to meet the same. Even the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed serious concern over the persistent delay in finalization of revised Master Plan-2032 in a meeting of the Housing and Urban Development Departm-ent convened on April 20, 2016 and stressed the need for completion of this exercise as expeditiously as possible.
“The last date of sending objections and suggestions to JDA by cross section of society on draft Master Plan was May 9, 2016 but till date the concerned authorities have failed to place the document before the Housing and Urban Development Department for taking up in the State Cabinet for approval”, sources said.
“This is notwithstanding the fact that even the concerned Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) have already furnished their suggestions to the Jammu Development Authority for incorporation in the draft Master Plan”, they said, “a team of the JDA is still going through the suggestions and objections and no specific time-frame has yet been fixed for completion of this already delayed exercise”.
When contacted, an officer of the JDA gave reply, “hopefully a team of officers, which has been entrusted this vital task, will complete the exercise within next some days”. He, however, could not explain the plausible reasons behind inordinate delay even after explicit directions from the Chief Minister in the month of April last year.
“The dilly-dallying approach is notwithstanding the fact that after submission of revised Master Plan by the JDA, a committee headed by Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development Department would examine it before placing the same before the State Cabinet for approval”, sources regretted.
Similar is the fate of plan of development of River Tawi Front on the pattern of Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat, sources said while disclosing that Detailed Project Report, which is the foremost step for giving practical shape to any project, has not been prepared till date by the consultant engaged by the JDA.
Only feasibility report has so far been submitted whereby project has been divided into two components—river protection/management costing Rs 396 crore and beautification of banks, sources informed, adding the concerned authorities of the Housing and Urban Development Department don’t know when the consultant will be able to prepare the Detailed Project Report.
“After preparation of DPR the same will be placed before the National River Conservation Authority, which functions under the control of Union Ministry of Water Resources. For its approval”, sources said, adding “moreover, the Jammu Development Authority is completely unaware of committed source of funding for this project”.
“Keeping in view the exercise yet to be carried out by the consultant nobody knows when the work on the ambitious project will actually start on ground”, sources regretted.
An officer of the Jammu Development Authority, when contacted, said, “we have received an assurance from the Housing and Urban Development Department that requisite funds will be arranged for the project”, adding “as the Union Government is liberal in providing financial assistance to Jammu and Kashmir, we are hopeful that this project will also get funding”.
“It is a matter of serious concern that two important assignments are being handled with so much slackness”, sources rued, adding “it is a time for the intervention of the Chief Minister so that responsibility is fixed at least for delay in finalization of Jammu Master Plan”.


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