DELHI: The NCR Planning Board will meet on March 6 to discuss, among other things, an approval of Haryana’s crucial sub-regional plan.
The Centre’s haste to get the plan, on which the fate of mega-realty plans hinge, cleared is evident in the fact that it will be only the second time in almost three decades that the NCR Planning Board will hold two meetings within 45 days of one another.
Getting the sub-regional plan approved is critical for the Haryana government since the Punjab and Haryana high court has put an embargo on issuing licences for real estate projects in districts, including Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonepat, till the plan gets NCRPB’s nod.
Coming on the back of the recent approval it gave to the amended regional plan allowing construction in more than 0.5% of areas in natural conservation zones, the sub-regional plan, if cleared, will be another blow to ecologically sensitive areas in NCR like the Aravalis. Approving Haryana’s sub-regional plan tops the list of three agendas that has been circulated to all NCRPB members for the March 6 meeting.
The state’s revised sub-regional plan has incorporated provisions of the amended regional plan, including the provision to allow construction beyond 0.5%, with permission from environment and forest authorities. Like the regional plan, it also mentions that tourism projects in the green zones should be allowed “as per state policy”.
“The sub-regional plan can only be cleared after the revised regional plan is notified. So, now it’s evident that the amended regional plan that suits Haryana’s demand will get notified in the next one week,” said a government official on condition of anonymity. The last time the NCRPB met in such close succession was 1986 when two consecutive meetings were held in less than two months.
The Union urban development ministry, meanwhile, reconstituted the board issuing a gazette notification on February 14 and one of the most interesting inclusions in the list of members was the town and country planning secretary of the Haryana government.
Questions are also being raised as to how the board can have different parameters for approving sub-regional plans of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. UP’s sub-regional plan was cleared by the board in July 2013 with the rider of not more than 0.5% construction in the green zones.
TOI had reported that minutes of the NCRPB’s recent meeting had been circulated among members, approving revisions to the regional plan. The approval triggered protests from green activists, who feared that realtors would undertake various activities in the name of promoting tourism.