The director of Neiva’s Administrative Planning Department, José Eustacio Rivera, reveals what changes the city will have with the new POT. He announces new communes and reveals that the pink zones will end. He tells the people of Neiva that this will not be a POT for Gorky Muñoz but a POT for the city.
Jesus Antonio Rojas Serrano
Since 2009, the Land Management Plan, POT, has not been updated. After multiple failed attempts in previous years, the Gorky Muñoz administration plans to update the document for consideration by the Municipal Council. The changes it proposes in terms of planning and urban development will have an impact on the lives of Neivans for years to come. And the director of the Administrative Planning Department, José Eustacio Rivera, anticipates in this dialogue with LA NACIÓN what those changes are.
Why update the Land Management Plan?
The Land Management Plan, POT, is an instrument that emanates from Law 1388, which wants to organize the territory. The objective is that the municipalities do not grow disorderly, and with this update, what we want is to organize our city. Since 2009, the POT has not been updated or adjusted, therefore, we are living in a Neiva from the past. Today we have a Neiva that has changed profoundly since that Municipal Agreement 026 of 2009. Today we have a Neiva that has grown, that has other types of characterizations and with a different population. That is why it is crucial for Neiva to have the Land Management Plan, which has been agreed, socialized and built in its diagnosis and formulation stage since previous governments. There is already a document that we hope will be approved in 2023, not only by the Alto Magdalena Regional Autonomous Corporation, the Territorial Planning Council and the Neiva Council, but also to be implemented in the city in order to organize the territory , respecting rurality, recognizing the environmental component and highlighting urban development.
What will change in the capital of Huila with this new POT?
What is wanted is to organize the city from the urban component, include the rural component that has never been taken into account in the city, and the environmental component to protect our water sources. What we have wanted is to link three more communes to better georeference the territory, but in addition to that, giving a special plus to Parque Isla, which we want to be a commune, characterized and recognized within our ecosystem, respecting the Magdalena River, to the that we want to reactivate. We want people to know much more about the Malecón sector and the Magdalena River so that it has a revival, with the link to the gastronomic sector and promote tourism development. With three more communes, in addition to georeferencing, we are going to better develop the territory in terms of organization, investment and community action. With this POT update, the city will have other industrial zones; We have a city that provides services, but has not targeted a productive bet such as agribusiness, which will generate investment; We are going to encourage companies to come to develop their economic activities so that they create jobs; The estimate that we have made with the POT is that more than 10,000 jobs will be generated and an investment of more than $2.2 trillion. The POT will also link properties with priority for the construction of social interest housing and priority interest housing and relocate the more than 111 settlements in the city there. We are needing the new POT. We cannot continue in the Neiva of the past.
One of the biggest social conflicts is the presence of bars and nightclubs in residential areas. What future will these establishments have with the new POT?
What has been proposed in order not to generate mobility trauma and discomfort with noise and to avoid the disorganization generated by various points in areas where there is activity for the sale of liquor to the table, is that these establishments do not crowd together in the same sector , but that we have the opportunity to generate land uses at a point every 200 meters on the main roads, streets and races where the Strategic Public Transport System, Setp, will be developed. We have suggested that these places operate throughout the city with specific characteristics such as having parking areas and soundproofing so that they do not create discomfort in the surrounding areas.
Another citizen concern: the area of motorcycle workshops in the center of Neiva, what will happen to this popular place in the city?
We have popular actions in which we recognize that today the activity of workshops on the Second, Third and Fourth races cannot be carried out; In these sectors, the use of land only allows the commercialization of spare parts for motorcycles and cars, but not the workshop area, which is the activity that is currently being carried out. A Motorcycle Citadel has been projected as a strategic project of the Land Management Plan in the vicinity of Mercaneiva. The idea is that in this sector not only spare parts are marketed, but also the activity of motorcycle and car mechanic workshops, and we have the opportunity to organize them in a functional way, under the articulation and consensus of the Association of Mechanics, which brings together more than 350 affiliates and with whom we have been arranging.
Specifically, what will it mean that the city of Neiva has more recognized industrial zones?
First, it represents organizing the territory and letting people know that industrial and agro-industrial activities cannot be carried out within a residential area because they can generate discomfort for its residents. With more industrial zones, foreign investment will be promoted towards the municipality, generating more jobs.
In rural areas, what will change with this new POT?
We will make our populated centers develop their agricultural activities, respecting the roundabouts of our rivers and streams. We will make it easier for them to develop their tourist activities in harmony with nature, and for them to be recognized for the investment made by the municipal administration and public institutions.
At what stage is the Land Management Plan today?
First, I want to highlight the great work done by the Land Management team of the Neiva Mayor’s Office, which has been in charge of the diagnosis and formulation of the document. Today, the POT is in its evaluation stage in the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Alto Magdalena, CAM, which according to Law 388, must make the environmental component viable; We hope to raise a concertation act so that the POT receives this feasibility. From there, it must reach the Territorial Planning Council, which is a consultative body for the municipality and in which various actors and representatives of the unions have seats. Subsequently, the document must reach the Municipal Council, which is the one that gives its final approval to subsequently have its implementation. We are optimistic. We see that in the CAM, the Territorial Council and in the Council there is an intention to carry out this instrument, key for the organization of the territory and have a more sustainable and competitive Neiva.
How do you plan to carry out a project of this nature in the Neiva Council in an eminently political year and in which some councilors play their cards according to regional elections?
Unfortunately, the POT would come to its discussion in a political year. It is recognized that there are those who want to ride their political campaigns on the shoulders of officials and that is unfortunate for the city. We are inviting the councilors, the different living sectors and the citizens to depoliticize the POT. We cannot demonize a project that the city needs. What I have been seeing in the majority of the Council and the city is an intention to adjust the POT because today Neiva is under a 2009 agreement; We are living in the past with a territorial planning document that has already completed a cycle. We need to look at Neiva in the short, medium and long term and be at the forefront as the capital of the south of the country.
Community leaders and ordinary citizens who want to make their observations on the new POT, will they be able to do so?
Of course. We have had consultation tables with unions such as the Chamber of Commerce of Huila and Camacol; We have had the opportunity to speak and listen to the academic sectors, to be with the citizen oversight bodies. We are willing to take into account the observations of the public. This Land Management Plan is not from Gorky Muñoz or José Eustacio Rivera or from any movement or political sector; this is a city POT, which is going to help organize the city for years to come. The consensus will be reflected in the public hearings that we will hold once we have the endorsement of the CAM. We are interested in making all the productive, social and community sectors of the city aware of the POT.