Urban designers and experts in town planning have been rallying for greater public say in the preparation of the city’s revised development plan (DP). They are voicing their concerns over timely implementation of the blueprint.
If the city’s past experience is anything to go by, majority of the DP is only on paper. For instance, only 15%-20% of the DP enforced in 1991 has been implemented over the past two decades. The plan expires this year. Planning experts have now demanded an enhanced mechanism for the implementation of the DP.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director, Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), said: “The civic body and state authorities need new solutions to tackle problems, which are a hindrance to the implementation of the blueprint.”
Joshi said a new system needs to be put in place where there is constant feedback on the DP’s implementation. “For instance, there could be a mechanism wherein they decide a certain percentage of the DP has to be implemented in five years. If it isn’t, then there should be a course correction and the problems should be identified and dealt with immediately rather than wait for the next 20 years till the DP expires.”
Architect and planner Pallavi Latkar said pressure groups were needed to ensure keeping a strict eye on the implementation. “Also, authorities amend the DP as and when it suits them. So, the process to amend the DP should be made stricter to ensure an honest implementation,” said Lakkar.
Experts say increased people’s participation will ensure that this happens. Dr Wasundhara Joshi from Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action said, “If the state is giving you a chance to have a greater say in the planning process, citizens should grab the opportunity.”