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Media Information
VDA has 'private' plans after failing in most projects

Published & Updated as on - 2010-03-08

VARANASI:There is no knowing how the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) is planning to ensure a planned development in the city. The agency has not bothered to complete any projects mentioned in the Master Plan 2011 but is now looking forward to attracting private investors in real estate for a `planned development'.

At the time of introducing the Master Plan 2011 in 2001, the VDA had fixed major tasks for a planned development. However, most of the components of the Master Plan were either withdrawn or could not be implemented, though preparations for finalizing the master Plan was started 2021. In the Master Plan 2011, a long list of roads was prepared to ensure its widening but the condition of roads could not improve despite the fact the traffic load continued to increase.

The agency could also not continue its drive against high number of illegal constructions, misuse of basements sanctioned with parking provisions and developers of illegal residential colonies on the outskirts. Projects like Kamdhenu Nagar were put on the backburner while the fate of Transport Nagar hung in balance due to delay in completion of the process of land acquisition. A few years back, the VDA had adopted strict attitude against the law breakers and violators of building laws, but its drives could also not continue for long.

Without teaching a lesson of law to highhanded builders, encroachers, law breakers and despite its other past failures, the VDA now appears `serious' for ensuring a planned development in future. And, for the same development, the agency realised the need for attracting investors from private sector. To materialise its plan, the VDA hosted a workshop recently in which not only the officials, but several architects and real estate developers also made their valuable suggestions. Keeping in view the suggestions of architects and real estate developers, the officials assured that the impractical rules and regulations as well as building laws would be amended. The officials also assured to remove the hurdles coming in the way of land acquisition for mega projects. The issues of improvement in basic infrastructure, adoption of modern techniques in construction work, preservation of heritage sites and buildings, lingering development projects were also discussed at the workshop.

During his address, VDA's chairman and divisional commissioner NS Ravi said the Ganga was the lifeline of the city, hence all the projects should be designed by keeping the fact in view. He stressed on the need for preparing zonal plans and incorporate the suggestions of participants in the plans of the VDA to maintain the viability of future projects. But, the revelation of chief village and town planner of state NR Verma-- that no real estate developer had come forward for developing high-tech city in Varanasi due to the problems being faced in land acquisition-- was sufficient to expose the helplessness of the VDA and government machinery.

In the recent past, the VDA and government machinery had kept struggling for land acquisition for several major projects. The Transport Nagar is an ideal example in this regard. However, the land mafia and illegal colonisers continued to mushroom illegal colonies by purchasing land from farmers on the outskirts. A private company that showed interest in purchasing land for developing high-tech city could succeed in procuring only 250-acre land after exercising hard for several years.

Source: TOI 7/3/10

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