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Plans Adopted for Improving, Developing Jerusalem to Absorb Expected Population Increase

Recommendations for the improvement and development of Jerusalem to enable it to absorb a much larger population and provide better living conditions for the existing populace, were adopted yesterday at a meeting of a ministerial committee chaired by Premier Golda Meir. She praised the proposals, issued by a special working team set up for the purpose, for their comprehensive approach to the city’s urban, social and economic problems. Mayor Teddy Kollek, who attended the meeting, heartily concurred with the recommendations which he termed the greatest success of his administration.

The plans are predicated on an expected Jerusalem growth rate of four percent per annum during the next five years and a population of 381,000–283,000 Jews and 98,000 Arabs–in 1977. In line with these projections are two other developments affecting Jerusalem–a plan to build a 500-acre industrial zone in the Anatot area just east of the city and another to link Jerusalem with Bethlehem by a continuous suburb to be built between the two cities.

The Anatot plan, for which the Kollek administration had been pressing, was approved Sunday by the Cabinet. The land lies in the administered territories and is in the government’s possession. It will not be annexed to Jerusalem.

WARNING AGAINST NEW SUBURBS IN E. JERUSALEM

The Bethlehem plan, also involving land in the administered territories, was prepared by planners from the Interior Ministry, West Bank military headquarters and the Jerusalem municipality. There was some criticism that the plan would create too dense an urban area between the two cities, minimizing their distinctive qualities. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan complained, on the other hand, that the proposed built-up area was not dense enough. A compromise was reached permitting “rural building” between the two cities although the term was not precisely defined.

Kollek, meanwhile, has warned against building new suburbs in East Jerusalem without allocating funds to rebuild urban slums. He also warned that new suburbs will impose a heavy burden on the municipal budget should the government ignore the city’s demands for additional funds.

It was noted at yesterday’s meeting that the Jewish population growth rate in Jerusalem is 2.8 percent per year compared to a 3.6 percent Arab growth rate. But the Jewish population is expected to be increased by 51,000 in the next five years through immigration, compared to an increase of 35,000 during the last five years.

Classical music lovers will receive a treat this fall. The Bank Leumi Trust Company of N.Y. has arranged to bring in tapes of Israel Philharmonic concerts and will present them on a two-hour weekly concert to be broadcast on WQXR-AM and FM Wednesday nights beginning tonight.

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