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Few takers for master plan hearing

Call it a paradox of progress.

Those seemingly responsible citizens, who have so far been screaming faults in Master Plan 2037 for Ranchi, remained conspicuous by their absence when the capital’s civic guardian finally cocked its ears to listen.

The RMC on Tuesday started its three-day public hearing on objections to the draft master plan, which is a vision for a developed Ranchi, but barely 15 per cent of complainants turned up. Those who failed to show up have hitherto lost their chance to table fresh gripe.

After the plan was floated on the RMC website in April 2013, suggestions were sought from councillors, intellectuals, industrialists and the aam aadmi. Till January this year, 123 objection letters were received prompting arrangements for the hearing.

On Tuesday, when deputy CEO Om Prakash, town planner Gajanand Ram and other RMC officials gathered to hear out gripes, only four of the 26 complainants invited on the first day were found to be present.

“We stretched the public hearing to three days because we thought all the 123 applicants could not be heard in a single sitting. We also categorised applications on the basis of objections,” said RMC’s chief executive officer Manoj Kumar.

On Day One, only those objections were heard that are based on composite use of land. “Composite use of land means that a person owning a plot can use it for any purpose. For example, if it is an agriculture land, he/she can use it for residential or commercial purpose,” Kumar explained.

Under Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) guidelines of the Government of India, a city cannot be completely commercial, residential or agricultural.

“The land use percentage is decided according to UDPFI guidelines. In the objections received, 26 people have asked for conversion of their land (identified as agricultural or residential) to composite land,” said an official of the town planning division of RMC.

The two individuals and the two agency representatives who turned up on Tuesday were Sanjay Horo, L.G. Shahdeo, Deepak Agarwal of Builder Association and Chandrakant Rai of FJCCI.

“The RMC will take a decision on their applications only after studying the cases thoroughly and gauging whether the permissions (as sought) will have any adverse effect on the master plan,” CEO Kumar said.

On people who had filed objections but did not appear for the hearing, he confirmed that their applications would henceforth be ignored.

On Wednesday and Thursday, applications on commercial land use and miscellaneous issues would be heard, respectively, the CEO added.

07RanMasterPlan: The public hearing on Master Plan 2037 at RMC on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh