Sector 90 development: GMADA to de-reserve 43 acres of forest land, develop parks

Over seven years after GMADA acquired 229 acres to develop Sector 90, near Lakhnaur village, the authority has decided to deserve the 43 acres of forest land falling in the area and develop parks.

With the forest department refusing to grant a no-objection certificate for the forest land, GMADA will now prepare a fresh layout plan for the sector, further delaying its development and prolonging the wait of over 700 allottees who have got letters of intent (LoI) for various projects.

GMADA chief administrator Amandeep Bansal said the forest area comes under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, so an NOC was refused by the forest department. “Consequently, we cannot cut out plots on the area. So, we have decided to develop the forest land as parks after de-reservation,” he said.

Another senior GMADA officer, “The entire layout plan will have to be changed and some approvals will also be required from the central government. The new plan will be readied in the next two weeks.”

The officer said when the land was acquired in 2015, GMADA was not aware that it was reserved under PLPA, as the revenue department did not have any such record. “But now, they have raised objection,” he said.

The PLPA was enacted by the Punjab government in 1900 for the conservation of subsoil water and prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

As per the original plan, GMADA was to initially develop 144 acres. Residential plots measuring 100 to 500 square yards were planned on 29 acres and commercial sites on over 14 acres, while 11 acres were earmarked for institutions. While earlier eight acres were set aside for parks, more area will fall under greenbelts after de-reservation of forest land. Waterworks will take up two acres and roads will be constructed over 28 acres.