Fight for Burlton Park

Society to approach ministry against smart city proposal

JALANDHAR:Posing a tough challenge to the much-hyped Sports Hub project of the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) under the smart city proposal, the Burlton Park Welfare Association (BPWA) has threatened to approach the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) if the MCJ goes ahead and submits the Sports Hub proposal to the MoUD.

Society to approach ministry against smart city proposal

singhking99@yahoo.com

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 24

Posing a tough challenge to the much-hyped Sports Hub project of the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) under the smart city proposal, the Burlton Park Welfare Association (BPWA) has threatened to approach the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) if the MCJ goes ahead and submits the Sports Hub proposal to the MoUD. 

The association has been fighting to retain the 12.32 acres of the green cover left inside the park for the last six years as the MCJ has proposed to develop it as a commercial site, including a five-star hotel. 

While slamming Mayor Sunil Jyoti, Harish Sharma, general secretary, BPWA, said the Punjab and Haryana High Court while disposing of the petition had directed the MCJ to take all necessary clearances from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). 

“Despite directions of the High Court, the MC has not obtained any clearance from the SEIAA and is going ahead to send a proposal to develop the green area of around 12.32 acres into a commercial site. If the MC will submit the proposal, we will contest and approach the MoUD against the proposal,” said Sharma. 

He also said that the Punjab Pollution Control Board, too, had denied an NOC to the MCJ against the project and asked to seek a clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment. “Along with filing a contempt case in the High Court, we are also preparing a representation to the Ministry of Environment against the civic body,” said Sharma.  He further added that around 4,000 big and numerous small trees would be cut if the civic body went ahead with the sports project.  He also said that if the civic body managed to get a clearance from any of the department for the project, it would approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the department concerned as well. 

 Smart’ proposal by MCJ

The MCJ had earmarked 855 acres around Burlton Park to be developed as a sports hub under the smart city mission. The area included land around DAV College level crossing, HMV College, Football Chowk, Babrik Chowk and will also cover Bist Doab Canal. The area was planned to be developed as a mixed society with 60 acres in Burlton Park specifically earmarked for the development of sports infrastructure. Also there was a plan for fresh water canal to be used for drinking water purposes and landscaping was planned around the banks to give it a facelift. Tracks for recreational events like walking and cycling were also planned along with the canal bed.  However, out of 855 acres, 60 acres were earmarked for the development of sports hub and 10 acres for commercial purposes. A multilevel parking, a five-star hotel and also shopping plazas in the area, rest of the 50 acres were planned to have various stadiums of other sports as well. 

Mayorspeak

The BPWA should stop considering itself as the owner of the Burlton Park land as it belongs to the MCJ. Also, we will go ahead to submit the Sports Hub project with the MoUD and will seek necessary permission from various environment agencies only after the proposal gets approved under the Smart City project. We will implement the proposal within the purview of the directions given by High Court. — Sunil Jyoti

Society objections

The MCJ has not taken necessary clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and also not sought NOC from the Ministry of Environment as directed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) before submitting the smart city proposal. 

The MCJ is planning to construct commercial shops and a 66 feet wide road connecting Gulab Devi road with DAV College for which around 4,000 big and numerous small trees will be cut depleting the major green area in the city.

MC’s futile efforts

The civic body had passed a resolution in 2008 to set up an integrated sports hub in 60 acres at Burlton Park. 

There was a proposal to construct a cricket stadium, swimming pool of international standards, hockey ground, two multi-storyed parking lots and a five-star hotel.

Though the MC had allocated a project to Nagarjuna Constructions Company, a Hyderabad-based firm for Rs 135 crores in 2012 and also got a loan of Rs 130 crore from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), it could not take off due to stiff resistance by the BPWA.

BPWS offers to develop Smart Park 

The society has offered to develop a smart park at its own expense on the lines of |ikku Children’s Park in Model Town. Sharma said the society had kept an annual budget of Rs 7 lakh from its own sources and wanted to develop a smart park that besides catering to the children, will have various recreational facilities. 

Funds allocated till date 

Year Allocation   Utilisation

2012-13  - Rs 100 crore  - Rs 25 lakh 

2013-14  - Rs 40 crore - Nil 

2014-15    -  Nil -   Nil

2015-16  - Rs 10 crore - Nil

2016-17 - Nil  - Nil

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