GUWAHATI, June 7 - The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA) has questioned the sagacity of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) in engaging a private educational institution � Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University � for amending the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) 2025 of Guwahati city, which was notified in 2009.
AREIDA president PK Sarma said in a statement here that they have become apprehensive of the current exercise to amend the CMP 2025. �Our apprehensions arise due to the blatant violation of public interest since 1965 when the First Master Plan was notified. Frequent changes in regulations have proved to be highly scandalous,� he said.
�Vested interests in the GMDA in connivance with some land brokers and unscrupulous businessmen, have made huge personal commercial gains by converting agricultural lands to industrial and commercial and other uses and undervalued prime myadi patta land to no development zones and green belts only to procure these valuable properties of bonafide citizens at throwaway prices, and then convert these to industrial/commercial/public semi public/residential use, giving the vested interest huge commercial gain through such abuse of zoning regulations,� said Sarma.
Sarma said that the AREIDA wonders as to how the assigned private institution started its work and officially submitted a report on October 19, 2011, whereas the contract was awarded on June 12, 2012.
The AREIDA had objected to a private educational institution being awarded the contract on the ground that this party was not competent for the assignment. Though a technical committee was formed by Government to inter alia examine the issue, but, without clearance from the said committee, just before Durga Puja vacation, on October 12, 2015, GMDA notified the draft and called for public comments within 30 days, he said.
He also alleged complete violation of 12th Schedule of the Constitution of India and Government of India guidelines and the Guwahati Building Construction Regulation Act, 2010, complete violation of the requirements of the Assam Urban Affordable Housing and Habitat Policy.
Moreover, he said that existing residential and agricultural areas on myadi patta land have been shown as government land and reserve forests, and even as water bodies, where no such water bodies or forests exist; fully developed areas as eco-sensitive zones/ no development zones, as also villages as rivers, and reserve forest areas as patta land.
The private educational institution claimed that their findings were based on existing cadastral maps, but on scrutiny, admitted that 290 revenue maps were missing, and forest areas marked were not based on measurements or field verification.
He said that AREIDA wonders as to how a particular individual professor, who is out of the CEPT since April, 2014, has become the sole authority on Guwahati Master Plan, till today, as declared by GMDA. This is despite the fact that this particular person has been out of CEPT, since April 2014.
This particular person is also the professional consultant for a number of private parties operating in the real estate sector in Guwahati. As such can he be the consultant for the Master Plan, Sarma questioned.
He also dared the GMDA to justify as to how the current dean of the CEPT has been kept quite in the dark, despite the fact that the current dean is an architect of international repute.
The above technical committee duly documented and certified that the Building Construction Regulation Bye Laws, 2014, of Guwahati has been in force with numerous errors, most of which are in the nature of mistakes, clerical or otherwise. This was officially intimated to the Government immediately upon notification in February 2014. Yet almost two and a half years since then, the Government has preferred to keep the defective Bye Laws in force on one or the other pretext.
In the meantime, developmental activities continue to be virtually at a standstill for almost over four years, since June 11, 2012, when permissions were stopped, other than those already applied for earlier, said the AREIDA president.