FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) has allegedly tried to have the master plan approved without consulting the stakeholders.

The parliamentarians, however, foiled their bid and expressed concern over the move. The FDA officials arranged a meeting of the parliamentarians on Wednesday and briefed them on the plan and promised to amend it according to the suggestions put up by them (MPs).

The 20-year master plan -- 2021-41 -- is being finalised for the development of various segments of Faisalabad.

Sources told Dawn that parliamentarians had taken up the issue with the FDA officials and expressed their annoyance for not being taken on board, though a ruling party MPA is serving as the chairman board of directors of the FDA. They said the officials called a meeting of the parliamentarians and briefed them on the plan.

A handout issued by the FDA says Director General Dr Faisal Azeem assured the parliamentarians that steps would be taken to harmonise the master plan with the land revenue record. It would also be improved by ensuring the involvement of the agencies and departments concerned, he said. The DG further said consultation sessions would be held next week and written suggestions would be sought from the members of the National and Provincial Assemblies, chamber of commerce, divisional commissioner, deputy commissioner, revenue department, metropolitan and municipal corporations and other stakeholders. After consultations, he said, useful and workable suggestions would be made part of the master plan.

It was claimed in March last year that 90 per cent of work on the master plan had been completed and the officials had not consulted the stakeholders. The handout issued by the FDA admitted that 90 per cent of the work had been completed in March last year.

The FDA officials also organised a small public session held at the committee room on Tuesday, where more than 70 people had taken part. The officials had organised the public session and invited their suggestions and objections to the master plan without giving them a copy of the plan. The media persons also tried their best to get the copy so that suggestions could be forwarded after reading the plan but the FDA spokesman did not provide the copy despite promise.

A parliamentarian told Dawn on the request of anonymity that neither the businessmen nor the parliamentarians were aware of the master plan. “We had only a slight knowledge that the FDA was working on a master plan but none of the officials bothered to take the parliamentarians on board,” he said. However, he said, the FDA officials had now assured them that suggestions of the parliamentarians would be considered and made part of the plan.

An official of the FDA said it was wrong that the parliamentarians and other stakeholders were not aware of the plan. He said efforts were being made to make it an effective plan to resolve the issues of Faisalabad.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021

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