The notification of the master plan for the Kochi Corporation and 16 other adjoining local bodies has been stalled for nearly two years.
While the local bodies have accused the State government of sitting on the draft notification, Manjalamkuzhi Ali, the Minister for Urban Affairs, has charged the local bodies of failing to send the vision document to the State government for approval.
The master plan is the key vision document for a local body to define its course of development for at least the coming three decades. The efforts of the Kochi Corporation to draw up the document began during the term of C.M. Dinesh Mani as the Mayor of Kochi.
Later, the Town and Country Planning department took up the initiative. They drew up a document for the 17 local bodies in the region, which came under the Cochin Urban Agglomeration.
Besides the corporation, the agglomeration included five municipalities including Tripunithura, Maradu, Thrikkakara, Eloor and Kalamassery, and 11 panchayats. It also covered an area of nearly 370 sq km.
According to Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor, some of the local bodies in the urban agglomerate had suggested changes to the land use plans in the draft document.
The local bodies had raised the issue at a meeting of the Joint Town Planning Committee, which was chaired by the Kochi Mayor some time back.
Rejecting the government stand that the local bodies had not forwarded the document, senior functionaries of the department and some local body chiefs maintained that the draft document and the suggestions of the local bodies concerned were delivered to the government. The documents were despatched through the office of the Chief Town Planner, they said.
Highlighting the need for a master plan, urban planning experts pointed out that fixing the land use patterns in the plan area would go a long way in the successful implementation of various projects.
The Cochin urban agglomerate was classified into 12 zones and land use patterns were suggested for each zone. The development of Sahodaran Ayyappan and Kaloor-Kathrikadavu roads were possible in the city as the urban planners had earlier envisaged these projects and land use patterns in the adjoining areas were fixed for enabling the development of the roads, they said.
Responding to the issue, Mr. Ali said the Joint Town Planning Committee should forward the draft notification including the amendments to the government.
Formalities like publishing the notifications for eliciting the views of the general public had to be followed, he said.