July 12, 2015 12:00:23 am
The state government decision to hand over ownership of Chandola lake to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for development on the lines of Kankaria lake was hanging fire thanks to the former sitting on necessary approvals so far. But now for political exigency, the handing over of its ownership has come just when civic elections are around the corner. It is expected that the sphere of influence will impress a number of civic wards in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The lake was so far with the State Irrigation Department but Chief Minister Anandiben Patel ordering handing over its ownership to AMC should hasten its development along the lines of Kankaria lake.
According to the Opposition Congress, this development is only in response to a long-pending demand of the Opposition which is now being met quite late. Claims Badruddin Shaikh, leader of Opposition in the AMC,
“In fact, there was a proposal already made in this regard in the civic budget of 2015-16,” he said.
“But any development plan will be acceptable only when the AMC agrees to provide alternative accommodation to people living on its fringes,” said Shaikh. He cautions the authorities stating that otherwise, the plan would face stiff opposition and resistance from the Congress.
He said the lake’s development along the line of Kankaria lake would need to keep in view its four components: The highway side on the west, the Millatnagar side, the Isanpur side and the Shah Alam side.
“Of these, the highway side which is the open side, should be taken up first instead of the three other sides inhabited by human settlements, which need to be resettled. I had written to the government a fortnight ago with a demand to hand over the Chandola lake to AMC for development to ensure balanced growth of the area.” he said.
According to Shaikh, no such conditions like closing the public access to Chandola would be acceptable and there would be no question of imposing entry fee on the lake. According to sources, the development plan includes providing parking facilities to visitors and a different kind of entertainment and amusement facility on this water body. The narrow roads along the lake, connecting Shah Alam with Isanpur is proposed to be made wider for safety now. The almost a decade old plan, which would have not gone beyond the drawing board stage, will now see the light of day because it was the state government that was sitting on the popular request for development, said Shaikh. AMC Standing Committee chairman Pravin Patel has denied any political calculation in this.
“The AMC has already allocated Rs 5 crore for Development of Chandola in the civic budget for 2015-16, had there been a political consideration or calculation, there would not be a fund allocation in the budget then,” he said.
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