Draft Plan of Nagpur Metro Region discriminatory, imbalanced: claim Experts

Nagpur (NGP): The draft plan of metro region published by the state government and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) is discriminatory and imbalanced as far as development is concerned, claim experts. Also, the draft plan has no mention about biodiversity corridors and heritage sites or land, which is abundant in the metro region.

The government and NIT had published a draft plan and invited suggestions and objections. The interested persons can submit suggestions and objections up to April 24. The draft plan is very crucial for the future of the city, covering an area of 3,577 sq km comprising 726 villages over seven tehsils of the district. Generally, such plans are for area up to 25km from city’s boundary and cater to the requirement of estimated growth of the city.

Noted architect and social activist Pradyumna Sahasrabhojanee has dug out some major flaws in the draft plan. Sahasrabhojanee told that the draft plan does not fulfil the objective of balanced development. “All types of usages, including residential, commercial, industrialization etc are proposed in five tehsils in the draft plan. A sprawling area of two tehsils — Parsheoni and Mauda — has been proposed for only agriculture and earmarked as double cropping area,” he said.

Sahasrabhojanee added that this will result in a big loss for people residing in these two tehsils and also for those who have purchased land here. “Land owners of these two tehsils will have to utilize their land for only agriculture. No region can be considered as developed unless development is planned in all parts. Besides, there is no meaning in including these two tehsils in metro region if land use is to be maintained as it is presently,” he said.

The architect also pointed out that the provisions of Biodiversity Act 2005 regarding special rights of rural, tribal populations over biodiversity resources (which is to be exercised through citizen’s management committees as provided for in section 41) have been completely ignored while preparing the draft plan. “There is no planning to prevent destruction of nationally important biodiversity corridors in the metro region area. There are many natural biodiversity corridors and many will fall victim to development. The draft plan does not even address conservation of water bodies properly,” he said.

“Development plan of any city or region also has to list heritage sites and land for conservation. There is no mention about heritage sites or lands in the draft plan. However, city development plan has mentioned it. The proposals related to heritage sites and land are verified by Heritage Consultative Committee and decision is taken in case they are covered in the development plan,” he said.

Sahasrabhojanee also slammed NIT for ignoring original stakeholders, the residents of the 726 villages. “Draft plan to come into effect for 20 years can lead to great strife and disquiet in the rural and tribal areas. Metro region comprises essentially rural and tribal areas, and excludes urbanized areas. NIT and its consultant are holding workshops and meetings in the city, where the majority of participants are land speculators, builders, industrialists etc. These urban stakeholders are vehemently discussing the methods of acquiring land and resources from the surrounding metro area. This is antinational exploitative exercise, which is bound to result in greater urban-rural divide,” he said.

Skewed planning:

Nagpur Metropolitan Planning Committee should have prepared plan but it was done by NIT and its foreign-based consultant

All systems adopted are of urban development and not rural development, and do not provide for conservation of agriculture land or existing socio-economic or spatial requirements and current and/or desirable practises

No areas earmarked to dump city’s solid waste and also collection and treatment of city’s sewage

No plan for gaothan areas, which mean actual area where presently villagers are residing.