When the Punjab government announced that it would rename its local planning area of Mullanpur as New Chandigarh,the states neighbours Haryana and Chandigarh had objected to the move. However,after two months of the Punjab government asking for written objections to the conversion of the Mullanpur Master Plan into New Chandigarh Master Plan,neither the Haryana government nor the Chandigarh Administration has bothered to forward a written objection to Punjab.
In July last year,Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had strongly opposed the idea when the Punjab government declared that it was changing the name of its Mullapur local planning area into New Chandigarh.
The Mullanpur local planning area is notified under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act,1995,and is part of Greater Mohali. It spreads over 15,000 acres of land falling under almost 32 villages in Chandigarhs periphery.
The name has been changed under section 56 (1) of the PAPR Act by the department of urban planning and development. We are well within our rights to do so, said Manvesh Singh Sidhu,chief administrator,Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority,and director,Town and Country Planning,Punjab.
With no objection to the change in name,the nod for the change in name and the final New Chandigarh master plan was given last week.
The department of town and country planning had asked for objections to the New Chandigarh Master Plan in September and continued to receive objections for over two months. A public notice was issued in newspapers following which as many as 25 written objections to the master plan were received but not one was regarding the name.
The majority of the 25 objections dealt with the governments move to widen the roads from 36 metres to 60 metres. Residents of Togan and Mullanpur Garibdass villages wrote to the department saying that the widening of the road would lead to their land being acquired. Others objected to the new set of roads passing through their houses. Mullanpur Plan Zamindar Union also had some issues related to land acquisition.
In the other objections,Omaxe company which has a housing project coming up in the area pointed out to the department that the decision to widen the roads would affect some of their plots which they had already sold to buyers and in another case one of the roads shown in the map was passing through the proposed site for a primary school in their area under development. Some objections to the master plan have been routed through local MLA Jagmohan Singh Kang which too deal with land acquisition and road widening.
Principal secretary to the Haryana chief minister S S Dhillon said there had been no move to object to the move in writing. The Haryana chief minister had made it very clear that if Punjab wanted to set up a new city called New Chandigarh,it should get out of Chandigarh and give up its claim on the capital, he said.
Advisor to the UT Administrator K K Sharma said he would have to check with the department of urban planning if an objection had been filed. However,the issue of naming of a city calls for a larger debate with the stakeholders involved than merely objecting to a master plan, he said.
The local planning area of New Chandigarh will now be a part of the seven LPAs that fall within the Greater Mohali regional area. The other LPAs are Zirakpur,Dera Bassi,Banur,Mohali,Kharar and Nayagaon.
The villages which fall within the jurisdiction of New Chandigarh passed individual resolutions stating that they had no objection to their village being a part of the New Chandigarh master plan. This exercise was completed last year.