DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday wrote to the Centre stressing upon the “urgent need” for creation of a statutorily empowered authority for homogeneous development of Chandigarh and its adjoining towns of Panchkula and Mohali – collectively known as the tri-city.
In the letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Khattar said that the authority would facilitate development of regional infrastructure in the tri-city, ensure effective coordination, high quality healthcare and education and address the issue of traffic congestion, an official release said.
The international airport is under-utilized in the absence of proper access from Chandigarh – the joint capital of Haryana and Punjab, Panchkula and
beyond and the Metro Rail Project has been in the doldrums for too long, Khattar said.
The growing urban character of the tri-city and the ever growing aspirations of its residents require immediate attention, he added.
Khattar would separately take up the proposal with his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh and Union Territory Administrator, Chandigarh V P Singh Badnore, the release said.
Tracing the steps taken in this direction, Khattar said the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act was enacted by the Parliament in 1952 to ensure healthy and planned development of Chandigarh and to regulate construction activities within ten miles of it.
Governments of both the states have since prepared controlled area plans, laying out land uses and restrictions, Khattar said.
Since 1975, a coordination committee, under the chairmanship of Ministry of Urban Development secretary, has been attempting coordination in the activities involving urban planning, the letter pointed out.
Another committee comprising chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab and Advisor to UT Administration, Chandigarh, was constituted in 2012 for preparation of an inter-state regional plan for the joint capital, it added.
Despite several meetings held by these committees, many regional infrastructure issues are yet to be
effectively addressed, Khattar said.
He pointed out that “the endeavour would require adequate financial support from the central government.” “The National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985, and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority Act, 2017, can provide excellent starting points for creating a truly modern structure for achieving the vision of a faster, sustainable and balanced development of the entire tri-city region,” he added.