Srinagar, May 22: National Conference MLAs from Srinagar on Tuesday boycotted a crucial meeting here called by the government to discuss Srinagar’s Master Plan.
Officials said that the Minister for housing and urban development had called a meeting at the civil secretariat to decide on some crucial issues pertaining to the ongoing revamp of the Srinagar’s Master Plan and to take necessary feedback.
But sources said that the NC MLAs from Srinagar constituency boycotted the meeting. In Srinagar, five Assembly constituencies are led by ruling PDP, while three belong to NC.
National conference MLA from Eidgah constituency Mubark Gul confirmed that the NC MLAs boycotted the meeting. “All of us were of the opinion that the presentation should be given in the SKICC or banquet hall here in Srinagar but they turned down our request and called meeting in the civil secretariat,” Gul said.
Ali Mohmmad Sagar said that he personally informed the minister about their decision of not attending the meeting. “First of all we were not given the draft of the master plan, secondly it was a breach of protocol as officers were listed ahead of MLAs,” Sagar said.
Another MLA Shamima Firdous also confirmed that she boycotted the meeting.
Sources said that the minister for Housing and Urban Development Department, had called a high-level meeting in civil secretariat to discuss the “ways and means” to finalize the draft of Master Plan which later would be submitted to the state cabinet for its approval.
When contacted Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash she said that it was unfortunate that the MLAs boycotted the meeting. “They should have attended the meeting to put forward their suggestions. Government is sincere in implementation of the Srinagar master plan. We invite Dr Farooq Abdullah for his for his suggestions. We feel that his suggestions would be very useful,” Asiya Naqash maintained.
Meanwhile sources said that Minister Sat Pal Sharma reviewed the progress of the Srinagar Master Plan-2035.
Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash was also present on the occasion.
Sources said that Sharma asked the officers to fine-tune the plan in accordance with the surging population of Srinagar.
During the meeting, sources said that Naqash asked the officials to work for the preservation of the natural resources while implementing the master plan, besides identify landmarks for commercial or residential purposes. She sought the cooperation of people in the successful implementation of the master plan. “Threadbare discussions were held on sound implementation of the master plan proposals and areas notified under the J&K Development Act, 1970, during the meeting,” an official said.
On the occasion, the officials concerned apprised the ministers through a PowerPoint presentation about various aspects of the proposed master plan.
It may be recalled the draft Master Plan after being put in public domain received around 350 suggestions/feedbacks following which a committee headed by commissioner secretary Housing was supposed to take a final call on the recommendations to be incorporated in the Master Plan.
However, sources said that the committee could not take any decision as a result of which it constituted another sub-committee headed by DC Srinagar Abid Rashid to look into the suggestions and feedback. The draft Master Plan has envisioned increase in Srinagar local area from the existing 416 Sq Km to 766 Sq Km – 82 percent increase from the existing Master Plan limits. (KNS)