Jorhat Master Plan; Waiting Since 1978
Jorhat is one of the major cities of Assam & it doesn’t have a Jorhat Master Plan. Jorhat acts as a gateway to upper Assam and to the state of Nagaland. It was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom and home to many historical monuments of Assamese culture. In the north of the district, the Brahmaputra River forms the largest riverine island of the world, Majuli, which spreads over 924.6 square kilometers with a population of about 150,000. The island, threatened with constant erosion by the mighty and unstable Brahmaputra River, had been the principal place of pilgrimage of Vaishnavites since the age of the Ahom rulers. The cultural diversities which prevailed in Jorhat nearly a century ago has inspired the people to participate in cultural activities through the decades and as a result Jorhat has been able to produce many creative writers, musician, actors, historians and journalists, terming Jorhat “The Cultural Capital of Assam”.
Jorhat is still waiting for its Master Plan Since 1978. Chaos in Jorhat town is a common picture during the last few years. Once a planned town Jorhat has now turned out to be a haphazard mix of residential, industrial and commercial zones herein. It is because of the lack of implementation of a New Jorhat Master Plan since the last 26 years. The earlier Master Plan was implemented in 1978. However, the validity of the Master Plan expired in 1991.
The Urban Development Department conducted a survey in 1991 itself for preparing a new Jorhat Master Plan, but surprisingly the plan has not been implemented even after 26 years.
Likewise, the township also crossed its earlier demarcation and merged into the countryside adjacent to its outskirts. In such a situation, the earlier Jorhat Master Plan is not feasible to solve the ever-growing problems of the expanding town. As a result, the residential zone, commercial zone, industrial zone, public zone, green zone, open spaces and recreational zone have lost their former shapes and sizes and merged into one another without leaving the scope of demarcation.
In such a situation, the whole green belt or green zone of the town almost lost its identity. Likewise, the commercial area intruded into the residential zone and industries began to be established in the residential places. The neighbouring areas of the town under Gaon Panchayats are also now adopting the qualities of a town. So, it is high time to redefine the area of the town to avoid chaos.
It is also remarkable that the government has already taken up several projects like establishment of National Institute of Design (NID), Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), Jorhat Medical College and Hospital and Swargadeo Siu-Ka-Pha Samannaya Kshetra in the town without being guided by a proper Jorhat Master Plan.