Pink City plan hits roadblock

JAIPUR NOV. 9. The ambitious plan of the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) to widen the roads of Pink City to bring it to the frontline of metropolitan cities may run into rough weather with a premier private hospital and a leading educational institution here protesting against the move.

The two institutions are up in arms against a proposal to broaden Bhawani Singh Marg, from Rambagh Circle to Indira Gandhi Circle, where both of them are situated, while pointing out that the "forced acquisition'' of land on both sides of the road would lead to an increase in the noise level and pollution.

Interestingly, the JDA headquarters itself is situated on the corner where Bhawani Singh Marg connects with Jawaharlal Nehru Marg. The JDA has since demolished its boundary wall to send across a strong signal that it would go ahead with its plan to construct a wider road.

However, the way the urban body has proceeded with the acquisition has attracted the ire of the Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital and the Subodh Jain School on the one side of the road a large number of owners of houses on the other side. The JDA not only did not conduct any survey to find out the volume of traffic to justify broadening of road, but it also did not give sufficient notice to the residents under the Land Acquisition Act.

On the contrary, the JDA has now invoked Sec. 17 of the Act to exercise special powers in cases of urgency and dispensed with the procedure under Sec. 4 to give at least seven days' notice. It has offered huge amounts of compensation, running into Rs. 22.58 crores, to the institutions and houses situated on the road on surrendering a 20-foot wide strip of land each.

``The widening of road by this forced acquisition will have a fatal impact on the vulnerable patients in obstetrics, new-born and brain injury segments located in the Intensive Care Unit facing the road side,'' Rashmikant Durlabhji, secretary of the Santokba Durlabhji Trust, told reporters here today. The extraordinary increase in the vehicular traffic would pose more difficulties in the treatment of patients, he said. The Navratna Kothari of the Subodh Jain School Trust pointed out that the rise in noise and pollution levels would have an adverse impact on the functioning of school.

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