Shimla, March 23
A total of 98 objections have been received in response to the notification of the Draft Shimla Development Plan (SDP), with many individuals and associations echoing grave concerns over the move to lift ban on construction in core and green areas in contravention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) earlier orders.
As part of finalisation of the Draft Shimla Development Plan (SDP), the Department of Town and Country Planning (TCP) is holding personal hearings for individuals or groups who have filed objections. A section of the people wanting to save Shimla from further degradation have alleged that the plan seems to be guided more to protect the interest of the real estate lobby than along scientific planning.
‘Disastrous for Shimla’
The proposal will be disastrous for Shimla and should thus be summarily withdrawn. The move to lift ban in core and green area will only worsen the situation as it will lead to a spurt in construction activity. —Alocal
“The proposal will be disastrous for Shimla and should thus be summarily withdrawn. The move to lift ban in core and green area will only worsen the situation as it will lead to a spurt in construction activity,” said Richa Minocha, a local who has filed the objections along with 146 others, not just from Shimla but other cities like Pune, Varanasi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.
Minocha contends that since the government has not been given any relief even by the Supreme Court against the NGT order, this makes it imperative to honour the NGT orders. She said the Draft SDP must be withdrawn in the interest of the town and its residents. With Assembly elections due later this year, the government seems to be in a tearing hurry to oblige the real estate lobby and those who have raised structures in violation of the TCP norms, she claimed.
“It is more than obvious that the development of Shimla city has been pushed more by the reckless greed of the real estate and construction/ promoter corporate agglomerate and political pressure and not by scientific prudence and planning,” said an individual not willing to be identified.
Tomorrow is the last day of the personal hearings. The TCP Department had notified the plan in January so that the state capital could grow in a regulated manner. Shimla is still expanding on the basis of the 1979 Interim Development Plan (IDP).
“Depending on the personal hearing over the suggestions and objections received, we will make amendments if need be, after discussion with higher authorities. Then the final SDP will be submitted for approval,” said Prem Lata, State Town Planner.