Town planner Ramchandra Gohad says that a holistic plan is in place but the authorities are not looking at it properly.(PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT PHOTO)
Town planner Ramchandra Gohad says that a holistic plan is in place but the authorities are not looking at it properly.(PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT PHOTO)

PMC lacks proper and effective administration, says town planner Ramchandra Gohad

Gohad proposes setting up of separate authorities working on fringe areas to see to their development and decentralise them to work with consultants to create new well planned towns on inner ring roads and outer ring roads.
By Prachi Bari | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON MAR 31, 2018 04:11 PM IST

The development of an expanding city like Pune is symptomatic for many cities in the world. It faces a dynamic urban growth and dwindling environmental resources to sustain the growth. With Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) falling short on major civic amenities in city areas, the urgent issues facing the suburbs need immediate attention. Senior town planner Ramchandra Gohad shares his views on urbanisation and development with Hindustan Times.

Why can’t we see a holistic planning in Pune? 

There is a holistic plan in place but the authorities are not looking at it properly. When the report about city’s development was prepared by town planning department in 1980 which speaks of effective public transport system, high capacity mass transportation route of 52 km of 30 km in PMC and 22 in PCMC, with grade separator and a ring route, instead of building the route, you are building bus rapid transit (BRT). It is not achieving the goal and not catering to much ridership. Another suggestion was to also look at the railways, to run a local service which would have helped reduce transport problems. It was shown in the 1982 development plan, sanctioned in 1987, and also included in the 2017 revised DP. It is ready for implementation but it is moving slow. 

What is stopping PMC from putting the plan in motion? 

We had asked PMC to augment bus transport but nothing has been done so far. We have been constantly telling them to follow the model, but they don’t want to follow it. BRT works in foreign country or in Ahmedabad but they could have explored the reports by town planners before going ahead. We could have planned a route. This is fallacy of corporation of not looking and reading the reports. This has been dragging on since 1987. 

What is needed to integrate basic amenities that are not in place? How are new projects approved? 

When integrated regional plan was prepared, it contemplates integration of village and city, for traffic and other amenities. Mumbai is a good example where railways has shown us how it can be achieved. They should be implementing the plans, working day and night , instead of sitting on a plan for 10 years. This shows we don’t have seriousness towards the development of the city. 

What is PMC lacking? 

We lack proper and effective administration. Transportation is an important mode of travel in metropolitan cities but the civic body does not understand that it is the backbone of city. 

What about the issue of lack of water supply in some city areas? 

We have water in surplus. We have enough for one crore population because Pune is a lake district. We have dams which will help supply water. As a town planner, we need to have separate authorities working on fringe areas to see to their development like make Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) as a separate entity. Decentralise them to work separately with consultants to create new well planned towns on inner ring roads and outer ring roads.

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