Miss­ing build­ing blocks for holis­tic ur­ban de­vel­op­ment

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Mu­niesh­wer A Sa­gar Mu­niesh­wer.sa­gar@hin­dus­tan­times.com n

MO­HALI: Holis­tic ur­ban de­vel­op­ment is still a dis­tant dream in Pun­jab though master plans for towns were made a decade ago.

Master plans pre­pared by the de­part­ment of town and coun­try plan­ning nei­ther pro­pose sec­toral plan­ning nor in­cor­po­rate zonal de­vel­op­ment plans that can pro­vide for ad­e­quate so­cial in­fra­struc­ture, cre­at­ing self-suf­fi­cient zones or sec­tors. Bar­ring cities such as Lud­hi­ana and Jalandhar, de­mar­ca­tion of zones are yet to be taken up in other towns. The re­sult is dis­jointed de­vel­op­ment and poor im­ple­men­ta­tion of master plans.

In Pun­jab, master plans for cities are made un­der the Pun­jab Re­gional and Town Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Act .“The master plan is on the city scale and cov­ers ma­jor roads, while the zonal de­vel­op­ment plan gives a de­tailed shape.

The zonal plan is for a smaller area. It men­tions the in­ter­nal road net­work, green spa­ces and so­cial in­fra­struc­ture,” says Ra­jin­der Sharma, a Pun­jab for­mer chief town plan­ner.

Master plan doc­u­ments of cities such as Lud­hi­ana, Pa­tiala, Jalandhar, Am­rit­sar and Bathinda de­mar­cate dif­fer­ent zones in the planned area. These doc­u­ments stip­u­late zonal de­vel­op­ment plans. For in­stance, Pa­tiala’s master plan says the pro­posed area within ur­ban lim­its has been di­vided into 11 zones, the de­tail plan­ning of which shall be car­ried out later. Any am­bi­gu­ity shall be clar­i­fied in the zonal de­vel­op­ment plans.

The lo­cal plan­ning area of Lud­hi­ana is di­vided into zones that will be pre­pared to fur­ther reg­u­late de­vel­op­ment and align sec­tor roads. There are 54 plan­ning zones out­side mu­nic­i­pal lim­its. The lo­cal plan­ning area of Jalandhar has been di­vided into 73 zones so that for each zone a plan is pre­pared to link pro­pos­als of the master plan and the lay­out plan.


“The master plan is a broader doc­u­ment. A zonal plan is needed for bet­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion. It has de­tails about the in­ter­nal road net­work, so­cial in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties on the ba­sis of which de­vel­op­ment takes place,” says HS Bho­gal, a for­mer chief town plan­ner of Pun­jab. For in­stance, while the master plan talks about ring roads of 200ft, the zonal plan de­fines and elab­o­rates on sec­tor roads of 60 ft to 80 ft and even smaller roads. “In the ab­sence of zonal plan­ning, ur­ban­i­sa­tion is be­com­ing chaotic way with pri­vate builders ex­ploit­ing the situ- ation,” says Bho­gal.

“Al­low­ing pri­vate play­ers to de­fine and de­sign zonal plans may ham­per proper ur­ban de­vel­op­ment. Builders plan for smaller ar­eas such as five to 10 acres at a time. A holis­tic ap­proach to plan­ning is miss­ing,” says Sharma. “Builders get li­cences for small colonies and re­serve the land based on the li­cences. Small pock­ets of in­fra­struc­ture are cre­ated, de­feat­ing the pur­pose of self-suf­fi­ciency. There is no in­te­gra­tion of in­fra­struc­ture and ameni­ties such as the sewage sys­tem, in­ter­nal road net­work, drainage and drink­ing wa­ter sys­tems,” says Bho­gal.


Ex­perts say zonal de­vel­op­ment plans should be pre­pared and the den­sity of pop­u­la­tion in a par­tic­u­lar zone frozen based on the num­ber of acres in each zone. This will al­low reser­va­tion based on so­cial, so­cio-cul­tural and sports in­fra­struc­ture.

“To bring uniformity in the zon­ing reg­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment con­trols across master plans, the de­part­ment of hous­ing and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment has for­mu­lated zon­ing reg­u­la­tions and de­vel­op­ment con­trols of all master plans,” says Gurneet Tej, the chief ad­min­is­tra­tor, Pun­jab Ur­ban Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Author­ity. Pun­jab Re­gional and Town Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Board on Thurs­day de­cided to make reg­u­la­tion ap­pli­ca­ble to the en­tire state ex­cept master plans of New Chandi­garh and Mo­hali.



An aerial view of Bathinda in Pun­jab.

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