FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) has decided to form a five-member committee comprising stakeholders to look into the issues related to the proposed master plan for the city.

The decision in this regard was taken in a meeting held here at the Circuit House on Monday last, where representatives of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and private housing colonies developers were briefed by the officials of the FDA and the private company that was preparing the ‘Faisalabad Master Plan’.

Former FCCI president Rizwan Ashraf said the chamber had categorically rejected the proposed plan as the officials had changed almost the entire Peri Urban Plan that was approved and was to be enforced till 2035.

He said during a briefing the FCCI had come to know that the officials were going to shrink the ‘brown area’, where construction and execution of projects had been allowed through the Peri Urban Plan.

The ‘brown area’ was being shown in the new plan as the ‘green area’ only to avoid the wrath of the Prime Minister Imran Khan who wanted vertical expansion of the cities, he added.

“We know better what are the city’s requirements, but it’s unfortunate that the FDA officials tried to get the plan approved silently without taking the stakeholders into confidence,” Mr Ashraf regretted.

Following the reservations expressed by the stakeholders, the FDA officials decided to constitute a five-member committee, comprising two members each from the FCCI and the developers, and a lawyer.

On Aug 17 last, the FDA had tried to get the plan approved, seeking objections and suggestions from the public, allegedly without providing the stakeholder any draft or giving them a briefing on it.

“We are under an impression that the FDA officials were trying to oblige someone, that’s why they did not share the proposed plan with anyone and tried to get it approved silently,” the FCCI ex-head said.

He said it was unfortunate that the FDA had only four town planners, while a private company was deciding the future of the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, an FDA handout issued on Wednesday says the FCCI representative and developers were given a briefing on the plan and a five-member committee had been formed to look into the related issues.

Earlier, a delegation of different stakeholders had also met prime minister’s adviser Shahbaz Gill and complained that the city’s master plan was being imposed without any consultation with them.

Mr Gill assured the delegation that a meeting of its members would be arranged with the PM Imran Khan shortly to discuss the issue.

FDA Chairman Latif Nazar and Director General Dr Faisal Azeem apprised the meeting participants of the objectives of the ‘Faisalabad Master Plan’.

They said steps were being taken for socio-economic development and stability of the city.

They assured them that the plan would be finalised in consultation with local parliamentarians, administration, FCCI, land developers and other stakeholders.

The DG said that efforts were afoot to maintain the city’s current infrastructure, including the road network.

He denied that the FCCI had rejected the proposed plan and said: “We had agreed that the plan should be finalised after developing a consensus.”

He said the FDA had uploaded the plan on its website and also shared it with the concerned stakeholders only to ensure transparency. The developers said the FDA officials had also assured them that their suggestions would also be incorporated in the plan.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021

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