Zonal Plans for Jammu and Katra

Master Plans are seldom reaching the stage of getting fructified into a reality even with certain modifications or deletions of certain areas otherwise thought as inalienable constituents of the entire plan , this with no mincing of words about the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The previous Master Plans had reportedly some inherent drawbacks and regardless of solving some problems of the city, the Plan remained merely a sprawling improvisation of failed legacy of the concept of a solid plan. It was found wanting in practically addressing host of vital issues like unprecedented growth of population, encroachment on Nazool land and non implementation of Zonal Plans and the like.
Various causes and reasons need not be gone deep into, as it would amount only to avoidable repetitions but the fact is, as to whether we learn any lessons from past failures? The axiom that failures lead to success, perhaps, appears conditional in operation in this state. Had it not been so, how could it be accounted for that the Government was not formulating zonal plans for Jammu and Katra respectively under new Master Plans despite elapsing of considerable period of time? And these are mandatory plans with little scope of any manoeuvring.
At least, the likely date by which a “glimpse” of these zonal plans can be had, too remains a mystery as both the implementing agencies, viz; Jammu Development Authority and Katra Development Authority have kept it a closed secret being unable to specifically mention the same. Has the Government identified and short listed any agency to which this vital job could be entrusted too remains undecided till date. The close relationship between the Master plans and the zonal plans can be gauged by the fact that both the Master Plans lay enough thrust on preparation of Zonal Plans for addressing specific issues in respect of specific areas.
Readers may recall that the new Master Plan for Jammu was approved by the Government in February 2017 which would remain applicable till the year 2032 and it had to be formulated keeping in view the unbridled growth of the Jammu city and area of over 652 square kilometres has been brought under its ambit . Similarly , the new Master Plan for Katra was approved by the State Administrative Council headed by the then Governor N N Vohra in March 2016 to remain in force till the year 2031 covering an area of over 79 square kilometres in comparison to 11.06 square kilometres area under the previous Master Plan. Huge commercial expansion of the holy town and its railway connectivity had dictated a midterm revision of the previous Master Plan.
In both the Master Plans under reference , the main attention being focussed on preparation of Zonal Plans is mainly because the need being there to address different issues pertaining to particular areas . However, the supremacy of the Master Plans would continue to be there as Zonal Development Plans have got to work within the framework of the Master Plans .It is because of these reasons, the importance of preparation of Zonal Development Plans become a necessity which has fallen overdue, a fact that the Government appears to have overlooked and thus not addressed seriously.
We are, however, given to understand that technical bids of the short listed parties would be examined and after those, financial bids would be subjected to various levels of scrutiny and only after those exercises were completed, the actual work on preparing of Zonal Development Plans would be allotted. We wish that to happen soon, now without any ado and wasting any further time in fulfilling of tardy procedural formalities.