It was after more than a decade of unplanned development that the city finally got a master plan in With these numbers expected to shoot up to 3 lakh by , and 8 lakh by , there seems little hope for this urban sprawl. Six amnesties in five years In the pre-master plan notification era, most colonies in Zirkapur, specially the plotted ones, grew as illegal colonies, which were regularised after the setting up of nagar panchayat, and thereafter municipal council. But, the council and the notification of the master plan did not stop the continuing proliferation of illegal colonies in the town and adjoining areas.

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Written by Nitin Jain Mohali Published: February 24, am With its much-awaited final master plan being approved by the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Board,Zirakpur is now on the road to planned and orderly development.

The master plan was approved in a recent meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,who is the chairman of the board. The board gave its approval after taking into account the objections and suggestions received from the public.

Last year,final master plans of Mohali,Nayagaon and Mullanpur were notified. Now,the final master plan of Zirakpur,which was notified last week,has come into operation. The regional centre will be a hub of commercial,civil and cultural activities. Retail,office,hotel and convention facilities will comprise the bulk of commercial space in the area.

The retail space will be in low-rise storey buildings and offices will be located in higher buildings. Hotels and convention facilities will be located at the gateways leading to Zirakpur. Civil,cultural and entertainment facilities will be provided at public open spaces and plazas.

These spaces will be pedestrian-oriented with high density of development. According to the master plan, Residential housing has been envisaged as the main feature of the urban landscape of Zirakpur. High density residential areas will be developed after taking into account the efficiency of existing and proposed transport and infrastructure services.

In the master plan,Zirakpur has been envisaged as a prime business centre in the Greater Mohali Area. It will comprise a regional business centre zone,a business park zone close to the airport and a recreational zone.

Giving full attention to integrating the land use,transport and economic activity,town planners from Singapore-based Zurong International have tried to identify and safeguard land to accommodate urban development till in Zirakpur.

Under the master plan,the development strategy would be to further boost the physical development and redistribute the population to achieve a more even spread. For this,growth clusters have been introduced in the Zirakpur Local Planning Area. The location of these growth nodes is strategically selected to stimulate growth along the corridor between the new arterial road running from west to east and an outer road planned for better connectivity.

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