Resorts can now be set up in buffer zone in Madhai!

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government has deviated from its Madhai plan made five years ago to allegedly favour influential people. Changes introduced in the draft of Madhai development plan 2021, mean that now permission can be given for resorts to be opened, in the buffer zone in Madhai in Satpura Tiger Reserve.

Experts have also raised objections on the new proposal as the minimum area earmarked for a resort has been drastically reduced. Minimum area earmarked for a resort in the area was four hectares earlier, but now it has been proposed that permission be given to operate a resort in two hectares in the buffer zone, and only in one hectare in area outside the buffer zone.

The state government in 2011, had issued a draft of a master plan for the area. Acknowledging the faults in the draft plan, the then housing and environment department had imposed stringent provisions on April 2, 2013, aimed at conserving the environment. When these provisions were opposed, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had issued orders to improve the plan.

Since then, people with influential contacts have tried to get the plan modified to suit their interests, claim sources.

Eco-tourism site being exploited?

Same as any builder’s colony, say critics

  • Those who have raised objections claim that the draft is almost similar to that of a layout of any builder’s colony, which is issued for three to five years.
  • The new draft plan is just an improvement on the old plan, and that is the reason that the time frame for the same has not been extended, said Vivek Agarwal, principal secy, urban development and housing department.

FAR equivalent to farmhouse 

 

  • 0.01 floor area ratio (FAR) has been earmarked by CEPT University for catchment area of the Upper Lake to conserve environment.
  • 0.1 FAR or more has been proposed for resorts in Madhai. This FAR is equal to that meant for farmhouses.
  • 20% ground coverage has been proposed, when it should not be more than 10%, said sources.

Master plan issued only for 3 years

  • Town and country planning (T&CP) department takes around a year to prepare the draft of a master plan for future development and almost the same time is taken to implement the plan.
  • Moreover, planning is done for a period of 10 to 20 years.
  • However, if the draft plan for Madhai is implemented, it will be in force only for three years till 2021.
  • The draft plan prepared in 2011 was for 10 years but, now, the government has failed to extend the time frame beyond 2021 in the new plan.

Flaw reintroduced

  • Table 2 Sa (1), included in the 2011 draft, that had suggested total area for land use was found laced with flaws.
  • Consequently, the table was changed in the 2013 draft plan, but it has been reintroduced in the new draft plan.

‘Govt is back-tracking’

“It is because of the intervention of influential people the government has backtracked on steps to conserve the environment. More area was proposed for resorts to ensure the environment could be saved from adverse effects of allied activites that go with such facilities,” said Varsha Navlekar, former additional director, town and country planning department.

(Story by Kuldeep Singoria)