Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to prepare a detailed master plan for the capital city keeping in view the modern-day requirements and challenges in the future.
He stated this while chairing a meeting of Muzaffarabad Development Authority here in the State metropolis which was also attended by cabinet ministers including Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, Dewan Ali Khan Chughtai, Chaudhry Muhammad Rashid, Abdul Majid Khan, Secretary Physical Planning and Housing Ghulam Bashir Mughal, Chaudhry Muhammad Tayyab and Chairman Dam Syed Azhar Gilani and others.
During the meeting, it was decided that the powers of Development Authority Muzaffarabad and Municipal Corporation would be determined separately after the segregation of both the entities.
The meeting decided to conduct a grand operation in the city to rid it of the menace of encroachments. The meeting also decided to take strict measures to ensure organized construction of the city in view of its growing population.
Museums, libraries and feature walls of historical figures will be constructed to highlight the city’s ancient civilizations. The meeting decided to build food streets, coffee shops and beautiful spots along the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. On the occasion, the PM while expressing serious concern over the low-income generation from the assets of the Muzaffarabad development Authority (MDA) said that the MDA came into being in 1988 and despite the passage of several decades it was yet to be seen as what powers do they have.
He said it was quite difficult to manage old cities but for new cities it was imperative to prepare a master plan to ensure safety and survival of future generations. Citing the ever-growing population growth in and around the capital city, the PM said, “Master plan of Muzaffarabad city should be prepared keeping in view the modern demands and requirements of the next hundred years”.
He said that nearly 8000 Kanals of land was required to meet the future demands. The PM said that since Muzaffarabad was situated on the geological fault line there was dire need that constructions in the public or private sector should be made in accordance with the building codes.In 2005 the PM pointed out that most of the PWD and MES buildings collapsed in the 2005 earthquake but till date no inquiry whatsoever was held.The Prime Minister said that bye-laws should be enacted to maintain the city’s natural beauty and to prevent unstructured and unorganized construction in the city.
In this regard, the PM said that help can also be sought from the Lahore Development Authority.Unveiling his government’s future plan to launch special tourist-bus service from Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta to Muzaffarabad, the PM said the decision was pending owing to lack of standard facilities for tourists in Azad Jammu Kashmir.
The prime minister directed the ministers concerned from Muzaffarabad division to sit together and decide the jurisdiction of the city and determine the powers of the Municipal Corporation and the dam.