Jammu Master Plan

Rajan Gandhi
As per Census of India 2011, J&K State is having     a population of about 12.5 million, 19th most        populated state in India, with an area of about 2,20,000 sq km, it is the 10th largest state in the country in terms of area with the recorded forest area of 20,230 sq. km which is about 9.1% of total geographical area.
While Jammu region is having 26% of the State’s total geographical area, it accounts for 55% of its total population load. In the Jammu division, Jammu district has the highest share of population. Jammu city actually took its shape in 1962 when its municipal limits extended on both banks of Tawi over an area of 16.87 sq km. Spreading over an area of 21.42 sq. km in 1971, the Jammu’s First Master Plan (FMP) 1974-94 extended Jammu city over an area of 130.36 sq. km to accommodate a population of 5.52 lakh by 1994. However along with the major migration in 90’s FMP failed to check encroachment on nazool land, non-implementation of zonal plans, gross violation of prescribed land uses, non-availability of serviced land for housing, poor enforcement of development controls and zoning regulations, absence of unified control and lack of timely review. Second Master Plan (SMP) for Jammu was actually initiated in the year 1989, completed by the consultants around 2003, approved in 2004, almost after a gap of more than a decade since initiating the process. The delay in the preparation and approval seems to have not been noticed by anyone. The city was either regulated on the basis of policies enunciated in the outlived FMP of 1974-94 or was essentially let loose to the vicious urban forces. The ramifications of such a fallacious approach towards the city have resulted into discordant and unplanned growth of Jammu.
The Consultants conceived the Second Master Plan for an estimated unrealistic population of 19.29 lakh by 2021, far from reality. With absence of building regulations the very purpose of declaring the old city Jammu as “Special Zone” has been diluted. The SMP-2021 in many areas of Jammu city had not have taken cognizance of the prevailing land uses which led to the incorporation of wrong details and conception of land use plan with inbuilt discrepancies and ambiguities. The drainage channels have fallen prey to the accelerated urban growth for there has been no standardized regulations provided in the Master Plan-2021 to regulate development in their vicinity which causes wide spread destruction by the floods. The SMP had also not made appropriate provisions for the amenities and services; as a result, most of the new areas of the city are devoid of essential requirements of life. The steady trend of migration from rural areas around Jammu to main city, breaking up of the joint family system, rising per capita income and mass migration from the Valley to Jammu resulted in the mushrooming of colonies on the periphery of the city. A large number of plots in these colonies are so small that they do not have enough land for the prescribed set parameters. Due to the demand for rental properties, additional stories over the existing buildings have been added. The city does not follow the tradition of land pooling mechanism. As a result only 10-15% of the proposals could be implemented over a period of time .
Jammu Municipal Corporation was set up in 2003 with its limits up to 112 sq. km. The old city comprising 23 wards was further divided into 48 wards and 23 new wards were added, thus raising the total number of wards to 71. However the future strategy lies in regulating the urban growth within a specified boundary to save agricultural land and to channelize the city growth and hence comes into picture Jammu Master Plan -2032. Regional development of Akhnoor, Gajansoo, Ghomanasa, R.S. Pura, Arnia, Bishnah, Vijaypur, Samba, etc. is proposed where work centers may be created to attract workforce and provide education, health facilities, recreation, cultural activities and physical infrastructure parallel to Jammu city. Keeping this in view, the Metropolitan limits of Greater Jammu-to be notified as ?Jammu Metropolitan Region (JMR), are proposed to be extended as per the revised Master Plan Jammu-2032 from present 340 sq. km. to 652 sq. km to include the Municipal Corporation of Jammu, Municipal Committees of Ghomanhasan, Bishnah, Bari Brahmana and Vijaypur with total 324  in JMP-2032.
At present, the city generates more than 600 tonnes of solid waste per day and is estimated to be 1,022 tonnes by the year 2032. However, only about 80% is collected and 66% is disposed off. Hence, a composite Solid Waste Management Plant for Jammu is suggested on built operate transfer basis with a suitable latest technology for the treatment of solid waste with recovery/recycling process. Similarly for sewerage, the total sewage generated in Jammu Metro region by 2032 is estimated at 350 MLD(million litres per day).The total investment required for the development of required infrastructure in JMR is estimated at 1400 crore. Besides existing STP at Bhagwati Nagar, the Master Plan proposes five additional STPs and three micro STPs one each for Sidra, Nagrota and Bajalta area. Out of the five STPs, one STP is proposed in the North city near Udhaywala and the remaining four are proposed in the South city one each at Balicharana, Birpur, Bari Brahamana and Vijaypur depending on site considerations.
Existing residential uses cover about 40% of the developed area with a gross residential density of 265 PPH much higher than the standard density of 100 – 125 PPH for a city like Jammu. The high density residential use with respect to the developed area is due to congested unplanned growth with almost no recreational infrastructure (open spaces) in most residential areas especially the old city. To further harmonize the residential development, the Master Plan -2032 envisages re-densification of low density areas of Sidra, Birpur, Bari Brahamana extensions, Vijaypur extensions, Satwari extensions, Lalie chak, Bhalwal, Purkhu, Mishrewala, Sangrampur Chowadi etc. The Master Plan also proposes four self-sustained Satellite Townships with all basic infrastructure to be developed at Sidhra/Majeen/Rangoura, Lower Thather / Raipur Domana, Raya Patti /Ranjiri, Birpur/Ratnu Chak/Chowadi.  The Master Plan proposes 53% of the developed area for residential development with an area of 279.0 sq. km for accommodating around 20.0 Lakh population by 2032. In order to make the efficient use of precious government land in Gandhi Nagar, it is proposed that the area under single storied government quarters need to be redeveloped into multistory buildings.
The Master Plan -2032 proposes up gradation of slum pockets to affordable housing. The unauthorized and illegal colonies existing on government/JDA land are also proposed to be transferred after recovering ? just cost of land through proper consultative process. JDA has been able to provide housing to around 60,000 people during the last 50 years which is very insignificant when compared to population growth during the corresponding period. The total housing demand by 2032 in Jammu Metropolitan Region is estimated about 4.0 lakh dwelling units for a population of 18 lakh. Similarly, the proposed land use under commercial category is around 11.80 sq. km area which is about 4.0% of the developed area. At one shop per 50 persons, JMR is expected to have 36000 shops creating roughly one lakh jobs. The Master Plan proposes two slaughter houses in the North and South of Jammu which shall be equipped with modern technology to avoid hazards to the public health, for North along the Akhnoor Road near Dayaran while in the South, near Vijaypur in the proposed industrial area. The Master Plan proposes 36 LPG Godowns and 80 petrol pumps by 2032 along the regional corridors away from the residential areas.
Jammu district has the highest vehicle growth in J&K. Like many other cities there is complete disconnect between land use and transport network. A traffic circulation plan has been prepared which includes various traffic system management schemes such as one way streets, pedestrian trail, pedestrian only streets, no parking roads, provision of automatic multilevel parking and multi-purpose vehicle stand. Significant numbers of government offices are proposed to be shifted from old city and the resultant vacant land is to be used for developing parking, parks and other common utilities.  Presently about 2200 mini-buses are operating in Jammu in private mode. Most of the city traffic will switch over to BRT and city bus system along with metro. Focus will be on TOD (Transit Oriented Development) which is compact, mixed use development within easy walking distance of a transit corridor. It is pedestrian-oriented design encouraging residents and workers to reduce use of personal vehicles and instead use mass transit modes more often.
The Master Plan proposes Jammu to be developed as epicenter of pilgrim and leisure tourism by developing regional and local tourist spots along with promoting heritage tourism. Similarly numbers of flyovers/bridges are proposed to decongest traffic. All said and done Master Plan -2032 foresees a very rosy picture and one hopes that it does not fail in its planned projections as FMP and SMP had done. With Jammu already in the list of Smart Cities ,approach to mark and transfer the land requisite to JDA will decide the future of this Master Plan also as land acquisition has been a challenge for successive governments and even repeated interventions by court has not been able to resolve the land issues. But as they say – where there is a will, there is a way. Right approach with intent to deliver is the need of hour.
“Hum hongae kamyaab ek din to make Jammu a dream city.”