Rawalpindi : On the directions of Chairman Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Arif Abbasi, the director general, Mohammad Hayat Lak has laid special priority to prepare a new master plan of Rawalpindi district as old one elapsed two years ago.
According to credible official sources, Terms of Reference (TOR) of Rawalpindi master plan would be prepared and forwarded to the Design Cell, HUD & PHE Department, Punjab for vetting and technical input. On receipt of comments, advertisement would be made to hire the Town Planning Consulting Firms for preparation of the master plan for the next 20 to 30 years.
The case would be placed before the Governing Body of the Authority for information and to proceed further accordingly. After the Governing Body meeting the master plan case would be referred to the government of Punjab.
The first 20 year Rawalpindi Master Plan was prepared in 1996 by the Housing, Urban Development & Public Health Engineering Department, Punjab which was approved by the then Secretary, Local Government in exercise of powers conferred under section 74 & 75 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 1979 and notified vide No.SO.III (LG)-12/98 September 25, 1998.
It is pertinent to mention here that the previous Master Plan of Rawalpindi could not be implemented in its true spirit based upon many factors. Of certain one of the most major factor was its two and half years later notification. Further , due to the promulgation of new Local Government System in 2001, number of departments which who were responsible for its implementation were merged and most importantly the post of Commissioner was abolished who was the chairman of “Joint Planning Board” for the implementation of the Master Plan.
Similarly, RDA had also intimated its reservations/objections on previous master plan as it mostly covered the jurisdiction of RDA and no inpurt from this Development Authority was taken. Moreover, the plan was notified by the local government instead of HUD&PHE department.
However, in the new Rawalpindi Master Plan, RDA while preparing TORs would be laying special emphasis on Housing schemes and overcoming Traffic Mess in Rawalpindi particularly on Murree Road by launching mega development projects.
The comprehensive TORs would be prepared after consulting other departments including IESCO, SNGPL, and PTCL.
The Joint Planning Board who would notify the implementation process of the Master Plan would comprise 7 members including Commissioner, Rawalpindi Division, Director General, RDA, Mayor/Administrator, RMC, Executive Officer, Cantonment Board, Chairman/Administrator, District Council, Deputy Director General, (Planning), CDA and Deputy Director, RPPO, Rawalpindi.
The official spokesman of RDA, confirmed the report provided by sources related to Rawalpindi Master Plan. He said work on it has started and would be presented in Governing Body of RDA which would soon meet to discuss and proceed further before forwarding it to the Secretary, Local Government to review and take decision on it.