Govt to acquire 100 hectares more for Jathia Devi project
To provide Rs 300 crore on its own or through pvt players for township
The state government will acquire 100 hectares more for setting up a satellite township at Jathia Devi, near the Shimla airport.
The government has already acquired 35 hectares for the much-delayed township project, 12 km from the state capital. The government had sent a Rs 1,374 crore proposal to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for the project for approval.
The Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) will soon issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of 100 hectares and the appointment of a consultant. The state government is keen to expedite the setting up of the township so as to decongest the state capital.
Of the total cost of the project, the state government will provide Rs 300 crore on its own or through private players. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had appreciated the detailed project report (DPR) of the township project at a meeting with five states earlier this week, but was yet to approve it. Sikkim, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh are the four other states that are competing with Himachal for the project.
Earlier, the plan of the previous Congress government headed by Virbhadra Singh to set up a township at Jathia Devi had not materialised. Though an agreement was signed with a Singapore-based company for the project, it was not executed. The project became unviable after restrictions were imposed on construction and the number of floors that could be built within the Shimla Planning Area. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed restrictions on construction to check haphazard development in the city.
The previous BJP government had also been unsuccessful in making the project a reality. As an alternative, HIMUDA had decided to carve out plots and also build flats for sale. However, with the Covid breakout, no headway was made on the project.
The state capital has been witnessing unregulated construction activity, putting tremendous pressure on civic amenities. The city is plagued with civic issues like traffic congestion, paucity of parking lots and drinking water shortage, especially during the summer.