Feb 18: Governor N.N. Vohra viewed the preparation of revised Master Plan-2032 in a meeting held at Civil Secretariat. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary; Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development Department; Commissioner/Secretary Housing and Urban Development, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Secretary Revenue; Secretary, Rural Development; Commissioner, JMC; Chief Engineer, R&B, Jammu; Vice Chairman, JDA; Chief Architect, Architect Organisation, J&K and Chief Town Planner, Town Planning Organisation, Jammu.
The Governor was informed that the revised Master Plan for Jammu has been prepared keeping in view the provisions under the J&K Development Act 1970. The present Master Plan Jammu-2021 is proposed to be revised to address the gaps and discrepancies which have arisen from the rapid expansion of Jammu city leading to rising demand of housing, infrastructure and services. The revised Master Plan is envisaged to also address the issues relating to haphazard urban growth, unauthorised habitation and rising demand of housing, infrastructure and services.
The draft Master Plan-2032 emphasises increase in the limits of Jammu city by increasing its area from 305 Sq.kms as envisaged in 2021 Master Plan to 652.32 Sq.kms., to cover an estimated population of 20.50 lakh. It was informed that the revised Master Plan proposes inclusion of 103 additional villages of Jammu and Samba districts as part of Greater Jammu.
The Governor called for: (i) striking a rational balance between the vital requirement of sustainable agriculture growth and the demands of urbanization; (ii) specifically focusing on the availability of adequate urban infrastructure facilities, particularly ground water; (iii) ensuring regulated constructions in accordance with the building bye-laws, particularly in the context of Jammu falling in Seismic Zone-IV.
Keeping in view the need for regulated use of land for various purposes, the Governor directed the Chief Secretary to examine the feasibility of an appropriate legislation to provide for a Policy on Land Use and Land Conversion. The proposed Policy could prescribe levying of appropriate development charges while allowing use / conversion of land for various legitimate purposes which could be used for development of urban infrastructure in the new areas of growth, in a planned manner. The Policy should lay down a clear framework for decision making to minimise exercise of discretion, leading to corrupt practices.
The Governor stressed the high responsibility of the two enforcement agencies, Jammu Municipal Corporation and Jammu Development Authority, to take immediate measures to strictly enforce the provisions of building bye-laws and issuance of building completion certificates to ensure that the actual constructions are strictly in accordance with the approved plans. The Governor also directed the JDA and JMC to use modern technology, including satellite imageries, for ensuring effective checking of encroachments. The Governor directed that the urban agencies should also focus on urban design, height and façade control of public and private buildings. The Governor also directed the Housing and Urban Development Department to come out with a suitable legislation to regulate the unplanned and haphazard growth in the areas at the periphery of the existing local areas which are not urban in the existing Master Plan area.
Emphasising the importance of much higher transparency in land management, the Governor directed the Revenue Department to expedite digitization of all revenue records in the entire State in a time bound manner and furnish an Action Plan to him by 10th March 2016. The Housing and Urban Development Department was directed to finalise a Memorandum for submission to the State Administrative Council to seek approval regarding extension in the limits of Jammu city to meet the projected demand of 2032 population. The draft Master Plan should be placed in the public domain for inviting comments from various stakeholders and people at large before the same is finalised. The Housing and Urban Development Department will also contact the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, and seek assistance for capacity building of Architects and Town Planners in the State, and also seek their technical inputs on the draft Master Plan.