‘Govt not consulting legislators’

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Pardeep Singh Bali

Speaker Kavindar Gupta and the legislators of the summer capital Wednesday took on the government for not consulting them before framing the Master Plan of the Srinagar city.

“We are elected members but we don’t know anything about the framing of Master Plan,” Gupta told Housing and Urban Development Department Minister Nirmal Singh and his junior minister Asiya Naqash, who were responding to the queries raised by the legislators for not consulting them before framing the Master Plan of the Srinagar city.

The issue was raised by the PDP legislator MLA Sonawar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir who confronted Asiya Naqash when she said that highly qualified officials were framing the master plan of the Srinagar city. She said that midterm revision of the Master Plan for Srinagar 2035 is being prepared by Srinagar Development Authority in consultation with office of the chief town planner.  “The draft of the revised Master Plan will be completed by ending July 2016,” she said.

On this Mir interrupted and said Master Plan is the life line of the Srinagar city. “But have you consulted anybody including the local MLAs before framing the Master Plan for the summer capital”. “Are these officials capable to frame the Master Plan? Why government doesn’t hire experts for framing of the Master Plan,” he asked the minister.

On this Asiya replied, “One official is not involved in this exercise but we have a team of highly qualified officials and 85 percent exercise has been completed.”

On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who is also HUDD minister intervened and said government will put the Master Plan in public domain for suggestions once the draft is completed. “We are not hiding anything. We had invited experts in a seminar where they gave their suggestions how to frame the Master Plan for the Srinagar city,” Nirmal Singh said. “We will involve elected legislators for this purpose.”

However, Mir seemed unsatisfied with the reply of the minister. He said, “It should not be a faulty one. Involve all stakeholders in this exercise to make it a concrete one.”

NC legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar, who represents Khanyar constituency sought the timeframe work for drafting of the Srinagar Master Plan. “But you are not consulting the local MLAs and the MLCs in this regard.”

PDP MLA of Chadoora constituency, Javid Mustafa Mir said, “We are the elected legislators and government doesn’t need suggestions from MLCs. Even the chief town planner never consulted me about the Master Plan of my constituency,” he said. “Buildings have been raised in my constituency but I don’t know who has given them the permissions.” “Government should tell me what will be benefits of the master for the people of my constituency otherwise I won’t allow officials to visit there,” MLA Chadoora said.

Shamima Firdous, who represents the Habba Kadal constituency of the Srinagar district said the government had not consulted the trade bodies and the civil society for the Srinagar Master Plan.

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