New Chandigarh master plan all set to be notified

Even as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda continues to shout from rooftops objecting to the Punjab government changing the name of its Mullanpur local planning area to "New Chandigarh", the state government is going ahead with the change of name.

The name of the 15,000 acres of land falling under almost 32 villages in Chandigarh's periphery is now New Chandigarh. A notification with the changed name of "New Chandigarh Master Plan" is expected to be issued by the government in a few days.

The name has been changed under Section 56 (1) of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995, by the department of urban planning and development.

The move comes despite Haryana's rhetoric on the issue. On Sunday, the Haryana chief minister repeated that if Punjab wanted to set up a new city called New Chandigarh, it should "get out" of Chandigarh and give up its claim on the capital. Hooda has been objecting to the move saying it is "unethical" to do so.

The Punjab government, however, says it is well within its legal authority to change the name of a local planning area (LPA). "The LPA is a conglomerate of villages which are brought together for purpose of planned development. We have changed the name of the master plan, not a city or town or even a village," said Manvesh Singh Sidhu, chief administrator, Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) and director, Urban Planning, Punjab. The local planning area of New Chandigarh will now be a part of the seven LPAs that fall within the Greater Mohali regional area. The other LPAs are Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Banur, Mohali, Kharar and Nayagaon.

The change of name of Mullanpur LPA to New Chandigarh was approval by the Punjab Regional & Town Planning & Development Board headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on May 28.

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