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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

LDA wants her slimmer, but planners say she’s right size

M Tariq Khan, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, February 05, 2013
First Published: 15:34 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 15:38 IST(5/2/2013)

The width of the proposed 81-kilometre outer ring road for the city has become a bone of contention between Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and the chief town and country planner (CTCP).

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More than a year after the development agency got a resolution passed by its board recommending reduction in its width (from the proposed 150-metre to 100 metres) and change in alignment, the CTCP office has turned down the proposal.

Since the decision could adversely impact the upcoming hi-tech townships on Sultanpur and Rae Bareli road, a brainstorming session between LDA and CTCP officials was held on Monday to settle the contentious issue.

But, with both the sides sticking to their predetermined positions, the meeting failed to break the deadlock and remained inconclusive. The planners accuse LDA of taking a pro-developer stance. The development agency blames CTCP officials of being rigid in their approach and drawing up an unworkable plan.

“Give me one example of a ring road 150 metres wide anywhere in the country and I will concede the point. It would be simply impractical and impossible to develop not only because of the settlements and constructions that are coming in its way but also because of the difficulties in acquiring land from the farmers for the project,” said a senior LDA official.

“Jaipur is one example. It has a road of similar width. But then this give-me-an-instance argument doesn’t hold water. We plan for future and not the immediate. Take the case of Hazratganj, the market’s main street is at least 100-feet wide and it was built 200years ago when there was hardly any vehicular traffic,” pointed out a town planner requesting anonymity.

The CTCP NR Verma, in his four-page report given over halfa-dozen reasons why any major deviation in the alignment or width would not be in the interest of the overall growth of the city and its residents.

In 2001-02, the city had 5,55,769 vehicles. This number went up to 12,10,889 in 2011-12 registering an increase of 217.88%. Would it be logically sensible to apply the standards of Indian Road Congress of 1977 or Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) guidelines of 1996 in such a fastchanging scenario and infrastructure needs? the report asks.

The issue cannot be viewed in isolation. It was precisely keeping in mind this width and alignment of the road in Lucknow Master Plan 2021 that the area along the stretch was earmarked for hi-tech and modern integrated townships. “We need to have a corresponding world-class civic and road infrastructure as well. More so, when the State Government is now planning to set up an IT City in the region (read Ganjaria Farm on Sultanpur) and plans are also afoot to have a Metro Rail or BRTS service for the city,” the report points out.

Last but not the least, the CTCP argues that traffic network has been planned on a ring-radial pattern in the city’s master plan of 2021. A 150-metre width has been proposed for all main radial roads, namely, Sitapur Road, Faizabad, Hardoi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli and Kanpur roads. Hence, any change or reduction in the width of the outer ring road would break or disturb this network hierarchy.


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