Masterplan void in Jorhat growth

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 26.12.10
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Commercial area of Jorhat town. Telegraph picture

Jorhat, Dec. 25: Lack of a new masterplan for Jorhat, the second most important urban centre in the state after Guwahati to witness fast urbanisation, has led to a haphazard mix of residential, industrial and commercial zones in the recent years.

This is because no new masterplan for the town has been announced.

However, the validity period for the first masterplan of the town, notified in 1978 by the country and town-planning department, had expired in 1991. Jorhat Development Authority (JDA) chairman Padma Nath Sarmah told The Telegraph that a new masterplan was overdue for the town and the government should take steps to expedite the matter.

The town was at present expanding in an unplanned manner, resulting in a myriad problems.

Sarmah said the masterplan provides guidelines for all government departments and agencies involved in carrying out development activities of the town.

He said the township, according to the first plan, had a total area of 72.8 square km. But the earlier demarcation had been crossed with expansion of commercial and residential areas into the adjacent countryside.

He said in such a situation, the earlier masterplan is not equipped to solve the ever-growing problems of the expanding town.

The JDA chairman said the outcome of unplanned urbanisation had led to the residential zone, commercial zone, industrial zone, public zone, green zone and open space and recreational zone losing their former shapes and sizes. These zones have merged into one another without leaving the scope of demarcation.

Because of the lack of a new plan, no additional areas had been brought under the JDA. As a result, the neighbouring areas of the town under the panchayats were now adopting the qualities of a town without proper planning.

“It is very important to redefine the areas of the town to avoid confusion and chaos,” the chairman said.

The urban development department conducted a survey in mid-nineties for a new masterplan, but the process got stuck in red tape, official sources said.

An official from the town and country planning department here said the process to prepare the plan had been revived som etime back.

The official said maps were being prepared for the proposed plan.

But with Assembly polls slated early next year the process was likely to be delayed as employees of the department would be deputed for election work.