Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): It seems that the influential builder lobby, which managed a few peoples’ representatives of BJP in Ujjain and higher-ups in State government in Bhopal, has finally won the much-talked-about battle of ‘excluding’ a huge chunk of land from the provisions of `City Master Plan-2035’. Indications received from the state capital suggest that the precious land located in Jeevankhedi area will remain open for housing and other commercial purpose while those of Sanwarakhedi and Ujjain Kasba will be reserved for agriculture purposes.
The exercise for drafting the Master Plan was in practise for last two years and during this period vested interest of political people, particularly those who belong to the ruling BJP, builder lobby, colonisers, investors bureaucrats, etc, came to public domain several times. The bone of contention remained on excluding or including the lands located in Sanwarakhedi, Ujjain Kasba and Jeevankhedi under the provisions of the Master Plan.
Since stakes of a cabinet minister, a former cabinet minister, an MP and a former MP and their supported builder lobbies were involved, the issue of exclusion or inclusion of the lands in question generated heat. Even it dominated the meeting of the core committee of the BJP which was held in the presence of CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Bhopal during June.
Till then the publication of the Master Plan was already made by the town & country planning department on May 26 and accordingly, a builder lobby patronised by a cabinet minister succeeded in excluding the lands located in Sanwarakhedi and Ujjain Kasba from the provisions of the Master Plan. Not only the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, but prominent social workers and non-aligned persons had expressed resentment toward it.
Raising strong objection to such a move, a former cabinet minister and a former MP had indulged in a verbal duel in the presence of the CM and senior party leaders and reportedly exchanged abusive language over the issue. They were even challenged to see each other out in the ground. Amid these developments, CM Chauhan had to tweet that the Master Plan would be ‘modified’ as per the requirements of Simhastha Mahaparva.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LAND
To make various arrangements during the Simhastha Mahaparva-2016, the local administration notified 3,902 hectares of land. It included 148 hectares of land at Ujjain Kasba for satellite town and parking arrangements and 11.849 hectares of land at Sanwarakhedi for a tourist village. The said 160-hectare land was not in any reference before the last Simhatha Mahaparva, but suddenly came into limelight after the construction of Simhastha Bypass Road which connects Indore Road to Barnagar Road and Unhel Road.
On entering from Indore Road via Shanti Palace Chouraha, first comes Jeevankhedi, which is located on southern side of the bypass road just near Kshipra River while Sanwarakhedi and Ujjain Kasba are located on northern side of the bypass road and just above Kshipra River. After Simhastha Mahaparva-2016, huge lands were purchased from the farmers to use for housing and other commercial purposes.
More significantly, several schemes mooted by different government agencies have also been proposed and executed on the Hariphatak Bypass Road, which bisects the Simhastha Bypass Road, after the inception of ‘Shri Mahakal Mahalok’. Investment of about Rs 5,000 crore is reportedly made on such projects by government as well as private parties.
After the instructions of the CM, the town and country planning department initiated steps to modify the published Master Plan and sought objections and suggestions on it. As many as 465 objections and suggestions were made which are now being scrutinised at the level of director, town and country planning, Bhopal and may be settled before the pronouncement of model code of conduct for assembly elections.
“We would ensure that the lands of Sanwarakhedi and Ujjain Kasba remain reserved for agricultural purposes. The local administration will acquire the required land for different arrangements in view of Simhastha Mahaparva-2028,” a senior authority sits in Vallabh Bhavan disclosed to Free Press.
With this indication, it is now clear that Jeevankhedi’s land, for which most of the stakeholders had voiced to keep it for ‘Simhastha purpose’, will be allowed for housing and other commercial purposes. On being contacted, a former MP said they won’t allow the people having vested interests to get their lands at Jeevankhedi excluded from Simhastha's purpose and would fight for the issue after the elections.