Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Besides arrangements of Simhastha Mahaparv, the provisions of ‘Master Plan’ mainly comprise future developmental aspects of Ujjain and particularly Ujjain urban area which is known as ‘Ujjain North’.
But, interestingly, influential BJP leaders as well as public representatives from Ujjain North have shown more interest towards objecting to the provisions related to Ujjain South area. And this is the major development which has led to the pendency of Ujjain Master Plan-2035.
Simhastha Mahaparv is mostly organised in Ujjain North (about 60 per cent), Ghattia tehsil (20 per cent) and Ujjain South (20 per cent). Camps of sadhus, saints, akharas, khalsas, etc, are generally installed in these areas which are located on the west side of river Kshipra.
Temporary arrangements like satellite towns, parking lots, etc, are provided on the outskirts of the entire city. However, the administrative authorities had to expand the camp areas from these traditional areas to Agar Road, Unhel Road, Sadawal Road, Barnagar Road and Chintaman Road in wake of unauthorised constructions and illegal encroachments.
During Simhastha Mahaparv-1992, there was no major issue in notifying extra lands, but the problem emerged during Simhastha Mahaparv-2004 and it exaggerated during Simhastha Mahaparv-2016 as about 250 hectares of land meant for hosting the Mahaparv was illegally occupied. All this was done despite a complete ban on construction of any private or commercial structure as per the provisions of Simhastha Act.
Dozens of residential colonies have been mushrooming at the Simhastha camp sites during the past 30 years, but neither the administration removed the unauthorised constructions and illegal encroachments nor the town and country planning department dropped them from the Master Plan which ended in 2020. Still, the ‘occupied’ lands are earmarked as Simhastha camp lands in the Master Plan-2035.
Ironically, none of the public representatives belonging to the Ujjain North area is talking about such a huge mess. Instead most of them have shown keen interest in converting the housing lands of Ujjain Kasba, Jeevankhedi, Sanwarakhedi, Daudkhedi etc villages which fall under Ujjain South into agriculture lands.
On record they claimed these efforts of them to be purely in Ujjain’s interest, but people say that all these tactics have been done to protect interest of builders lobby best suited to them, to damage the interests of colonisers whom they don’t like and also to settle the scores with cabinet minister Mohan Yadav who possesses huge lands in Sanwarakhedi.
It is said that the illegal colonies which have been developed during the past two decades were patronised by BJP’s six-time Ujjain North MLA and former cabinet minister Paras Jain. His opponents also said that all basic facilities like roads, electricity were provided in such localities from the MLA fund and through Ujjain Municipal Corporation.
It is also alleged that Jain forced the administration not to execute road widening exercise in most parts of the ‘Ujjain Shahar’ presuming that it may cost dearer to his poll prospects.
When contacted by Free Press, MLA Paras Jain admitted that though Simhastha camp sites like Mahaveer Nagar have unauthorised constructions, but they have to consider the future necessities. On the contrary, he asked why any action was not taken against those officials in whose tenure such constructions were made.
He demanded that as soon as such illegal things are done, concerned officials should be punished immediately. The Ujjain North MLA also clarified that he has nothing to do with the lands of Ujjain South. “My interest is only towards the interests of Ujjain, its people and saint community,” he added.
With inputs Nirkut Bhargava