Even as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda continues to shout from rooftops objecting to the Punjab government changing the name of its Mullanpur local planning area to New Chandigarh,the state government is going ahead with the change of name.
The name of the 15,000 acres of land falling under almost 32 villages in Chandigarhs periphery is now New Chandigarh. A notification with the changed name of New Chandigarh Master Plan is expected to be issued by the government in a few days.
The name has been changed under Section 56 (1) of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act,1995,by the department of urban planning and development.
The move comes despite Haryanas rhetoric on the issue. On Sunday,the Haryana chief minister repeated 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. Hooda has been objecting to the move saying it is unethical to do so.
The Punjab government,however,says it is well within its legal authority to change the name of a local planning area (LPA). The LPA is a conglomerate of villages which are brought together for purpose of planned development. We have changed the name of the master plan,not a city or town or even a village, said Manvesh Singh Sidhu,chief administrator,Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and director,Urban Planning,Punjab. 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 change of name of Mullanpur LPA to New Chandigarh was approval by the Punjab Regional & Town Planning & Development Board headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on May 28.
Following the approval of the board,the department has now changed the name of the Mullanpur Master Plan to the New Chandigarh Master Plan.
The New Chandigarh Master Plan is being amended to add a fresh clause regarding the increase in the width of roads for which the director,urban planning,will be seeking objections. This is the first time that the master plan will be notified under the new name, added Sidhu.
The move to change the name of the Mullanpur LPA is not new. The villages which fall within the jurisdiction of New Chandigarh moved and 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.
The whole idea of renaming the area is to give it a more modern outlook and make it sound better,thats all. I dont see why there is so much hullabaloo about it, said Sidhu. New Chandigarh is not being converted into a municipality and the control of its development will remain with GMADA. There is no question of it becoming an urban jungle.
According to Sidhu,over 33 per cent of the area in New Chandigarh is kept aside as green. Please ask the honourable chief minister of Haryana what is the percentage of green cover that the Haryana Urban Planning Authority (HUDA) kept for the development in Pinjore and Kalka which are in the foothills and should have been retained as green. We do not need Haryanas advice on how to carry out our development, he added.