AHMEDADBAD: The state government on Monday named Bhupendra Patel as the new chairman of the city's apex urban planning body, the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). Till September 30 this year, Patel had served two terms as the standing committee chairman of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Sources said that his name for the post had been doing the rounds since October.
Patel would take over from the current AUDA chief, Dharmendra Shah, a few days from now. He has been given the important ask of overseeing the implementation of the new development plan, which includes the central business district on Ashram road; the Transit-Oriented Zone (TOZ); and the affordable housing zone.
"The implementation of the new development plan for Ahmedabad will clearly be my focus during my tenure as AUDA chairman. The four growth centers around the city — Sanand, Dehgam, Kalol and Mahemdabad — will see rapid changes in the coming years. I realize that infrastructure would be required to match this pace of development in the four satellite towns around the city," Patel told journalists on Monday.
Patel is a civil engineer by profession and also a builder. His first stint in politics was as a member of the Memnagar municipality. From 1998, he was a member of the municipality for close to a decade. He became the municipality president twice — in 2003 and then again in 2003. He has also served as the municipal school board chairman. This is not all. He was also a councillor from Memnagar area after the municipality's merger into the AMC. He then became chairman of the standing committee - the policy-making body of the AMC — in 2010 and served two terms as chairman till September 30 this year.
On Monday, apart from appointing Patel as Auda chairman, the state government also appointed six chairpersons, two deputy chairpersons and 31 members of various boards and corporations. The government till date has appointed as many as 20 chairpersons, seven deputy chairpersons and 144 members in different state boards and corporations.