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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Crucial meet on Gurgaon master plan today

(Dipak Kumar Dash | TNN, Times of India, Jan 16, 2007, pg 7, Gurgaon): To address the demand of environment impact assessment (EIA) and management plan, town and country planning (TCP) department is holding a special meeting in Chandigarh on Monday ahead of the notification of finalised Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex 2021 plan where this report prepared by a consultant will be presented.

When the TCP invited objections to the Draft Master Plan, citizens groups had strongly demanded the need of a detailed survey and analysis of all planned parameters, including an EIA by experts in various fields and by reputed urban planners. JAFRA, a body of RWAs in Gurgaon, had filed an RTI seeking the copy of the EIA and the answer that was received from the HUDA office was that ‘no such report is available with the district town and country planning department’.

‘This basic and most essential requirement seemed to have been ignored while preparing the Draft Master Plan 2021 for Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex. There was no mention of an expert analysis of planning parameters of development for Gurgaon as a world-class city in the plan,’’ said Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, spokesman of JAFRA.

The TCP had appointed a consultant to carry out this assessment in July, 2006, with the objective to forsee and project the environment impact of the present development and the impact it would have on the future development of Gurgaon. The carrying out of the EIA gained importance, considering the fact that sustainable development of Gurgaon came under scanner of residents and citizens groups since the infrastructure deficiency in the city has become a cause of concern for future development.

In fact, citizens groups have also cautioned that the carrying capacity of the city must not be breached at any cost. ‘‘As per the current estimates, city’s population has crossed 21 lakh and by 2021, it is estimated to touch 37 lakh,’’ said major general Satbir Singh, member of HUDA grievance committee.

Sources said that to put final stamp on the finalised plan after the presentation of the EIA, all officials concerned — including all financial commissioners, Gurgaon deputy commissioner and HUDA administrator — have been asked to be present during the presentation.

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