TOWN PLANNING - A GROWTH MODEL

TOWN PLANNING - A GROWTH MODEL

COMPREHENSIVE PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TOWNS AND CITIES

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF NEW LAYOUTS

                  The present model of development involves the acquisition of agricultural or other lands to form layouts with roads and other facilities and creation of sites of various dimensions to be sold to individual citizens for construction of their houses. Similarly several areas are developed for setting up industries. This model of development needs a critical relook due to the following drawbacks.

DRAW BACKS OF EXISTING HORIZONTAL GROWTH MODEL

  • Large areas of agricultural land have to be acquired for formation of new layouts thus reducing the green cover in and around the city.
  • After allocation of areas for development of various civic facilities like roads, drains, parks etc only about 50% of the land acquired is available for formation of sites.
  • The time taken for acquisitions and formation of lay outs has been very long due to legal and administrative problems. Thus it is found that people have been waiting for several years, even decades, to get a site allotted by the Town development Authorities. And since the demand outstrips the available sites many citizens remain frustrated in their goal to possess a site even after waiting for decades.
  • In contrast it is also seen that sites which were allotted several years back are still vacant without the owners constructing houses.
  • This situation has created a severe shortage of dwellings units for different strata of society.
  • The horizontal growth demands huge investments in the form of roads, water supply lines, sewerage lines, electric lines which would be spread over a wide area compared to the number of dwelling units serviced.

 

  1. OBJECTIVES FOR THE FUTURE
  2. THE City should be governed by a CHARTER and a set of RULES AND BYE LAWS which should be framed after a thorough discussion by the experts and the citizens.

The CHANDIGARH MODEL could be taken as a base document and suitably modified.

The Charter once accepted should not be subject to change except in very exceptional circumstances.

The Charter and the Rules and Bye Laws have to be strictly followed and adhered to by all.

There should be no scope for permitting deviations or for approval/ condoning of violations.

 

  1. The Comprehensive Development Plan could be broadly divided into three segments:

      -  Maintenance of all the Heritage Buildings and their surroundings

      -   Providing better and improved facilities in the existing layouts

       -   Proper planning of the New layouts

SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW GROWTH MODEL:

  • The policy of allotting sites to individuals should be stopped.
  • Sites should be allotted only to registered co-operative housing societies formed by individuals.
  • The new areas should be developed keeping in view the Long Term Plan and the Charter and Bye-Laws.
  • Provision should be made for laying a Double/ Four Line Electrified Railway Track along the identified route.
  • Adjoining to this Railway track and running parallel to it a 4 way road with median and pedestrian facilities is to be provided on either side of the track. Dedicated lanes for Buses should be provided.
  • Railway stations can be provided at distances of 3 or 4 Kms with Bus Stations adjoining them and should have sufficient parking space.
  • Residential Blocks should be developed on either side of the railway stations for a distance of 3 to 4 Sq.Kms.
  • Every Block should have a Commercial Complex at its centre which will have sufficient parking place. This should have shops for all the requirements of the community like groceries, vegetables, textiles, stationery, books, post office, electrical, plumbing, Banks, hotels, medical shop, etc. etc. A lane could also be earmarked for hawkers and push cart vendors who can sell their goods during specific times.
  • Within every Block there should be a double lane road connecting the Bus Stand at the Railway Station to the Commercial complex and the residential area. No resident should have to go beyond 1km to catch a bus.
  • Shops and commercial establishments should not be permitted in any other place and residences.
  • Roads should be wide with proper pedestrian space and drainage.
  • Trees should be planted within the residential sites only. No trees should be planted on the streets.
  • Thus the streets can be lighted with minimum of light bulbs and maximum illumination.
  • All service lines like water, electricity, sewerage, communication cables should be underground. Connections to individual plots should be by dedicated lines from the main lines so that repeated cutting of roads is avoided.
  • Sufficient space should be provided to servicing agencies to install power transformers, water tanks, etc so that no footpath space is occupied by these equipments.
  • Every Block should have space for Schools which will cater up to the primary level. Schools /colleges for higher levels could be provided for every two or three blocks.
  • All children should invariably be admitted only to the local school up to the primary level. This will avoid children travelling long distances by bus etc. which adds to unnecessary traffic congestions across the city.
  • Sufficient space should be provided for parks and play grounds in each block.
  • The topography of the area should be properly utilised. If there is a natural valley it should be used to collect the rain water and form a lake so that the ground water is recharged. The lake and its surroundings should be well maintained so that it becomes a recreation spot.
  • Purified water should be supplied for drinking and other domestic needs only. For other purposes like gardening etc. treated recycled water could be supplied. Private bore wells should not be permitted to be drilled in individual plots.
  • For every 3 or 4 blocks provision should be made for hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Space should be earmarked for other facilities like Police Station, Civic Offices, Fire Station, Electricity, water, and sewerage maintenance and service stations.
  • Proper collection of garbage and waste from every plot should be arranged and their proper recycling and disposal should be ensured.
  • The streets and plots should be scientifically numbered so that identification and locating them becomes easy for any person

 

RESIDENTIAL PLOTS

  • All Residential Plots should be of say 120’x120’ or 180’x180’ in size.
  • Plots should be allotted to only Co-operative housing Societies which are registered with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies. The Societies will have only as many individuals as members as the number of houses to be built in the plot. Every Society should have its own Rules and Bye-laws based on a model draft to be approved by the Registrar.
  • The buildings should be built strictly as per the set off and FSR norms as per the City’s Charter. A minimum of say 10’ should be left open on all sides from the boundary.
  • The number of Floors should be restricted in keeping with the particular City’s ambience.
  • Parking Spaces should be provided invariably either in the basement or in the ground floor.
  • The buildings should also be designed to have an aesthetic look in the front. The set off spaces should be used for growing trees and a well maintained garden.
  • The top floor can be used for constructing single rooms with attached bathrooms which could be rented out to single persons who are studying or employed. This will also provide some income to the Society and help them in the maintenance and upkeep of the building.
  • The bye-laws of the society should provide for the periodical upkeep and maintenance of the building by all the members of the Society.
  • Clusters of Housing Societies in the Street should form a LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE which will liaise with the civic authorities for proper maintenance of the area and to solve any problems.
  • A Local Area sewerage treatment plant should be set up which will use the sewerage and green waste from the residents of the locality and convert them into bio fuel, compost manure and treated water. The manure and treated water should be used for gardening.  The bio fuel and solar energy could be used for any common purposes like lighting streets and other common areas like parks, playgrounds, etc..
  • Strictly no commercial establishment/ offices of any sort should be allowed to be set up in residential premises.
  • Even visitor’s vehicles should be parked within the premises only.
  • Thus there will be no parking of any vehicles on the roads and footpaths.
  • As there will be no obstructions on the roads and footpaths their widths could be reduced so that maximum use of available land is made

 

 PROVIDING BETTER AND IMPROVED FACILITIES IN EXISTING AREAS/LAYOUTS

 

The existing areas have many disadvantages like:

  • The roads are very narrow and are not capable of taking the present day traffic
  • Many of the houses are built on small sites and do not have parking space within the houses. Hence people park their vehicles on the roads and footpaths further hampering the free flow of traffic.
  • Most of the buildings are constructed violating all set off and other norms
  • Many of the houses are even built with adjoining walls even though they are on different sites
  • Many of the roads have been widened but this has reduced the foot path space posing problems for the pedestrians. Many of the roads do not have space for widening also.
  • Indiscriminate permission has been given by the authorities to convert residential sites into commercial sites and also many house owners either convert the garages into shops or construct shops in front of their houses. This has resulted in huge movement of people on the narrow roads, haphazard parking of vehicles adding to congestion and chaos on the roads. Most of the commercial complexes either do not have parking space or even if one is there in the basement they are used for commercial purposes instead for parking vehicles.
  • The sewerage and water supply lines are very old and are incapable of taking the present day load.
  • The storm water drains are clogged resulting in flooding of many areas during rains.
  • There are too many cross roads posing risk to people and vehicle users
  • There are too many dead end roads
  • The topography has not been properly utilized. Lakes have been filled up and residential houses have been built. This has resulted in flooding of houses even after a little rainfall. The flow of rain water has also not been properly planned leading to frequent flooding of roads.

  

SUGGESTIONS:

  • The suggestions given under ‘new growth model’ above should be adopted even in existing areas.
  • Formation of new layouts should be stopped for the time being
  • No permission should be given for any new construction, remodeling, etc. either for residential or commercial premises
  • That is to say the entire city has to be replanned along the suggested lines including the existing areas.
  • Suggestions regarding ‘Heritage Structures/ areas” are given separately which are to be kept in mind while drawing up the revised plan
  • The existing transport infrastructures like the Railway lines /Stations should be retained and enhanced for out bound traffic
  • Railway lines for local transport as suggested above should be first drawn up
  • Other suggestions regarding formation of layouts should be considered and superimposed on the existing areas
  • A survey of all residential/ commercial site owners will have to be made and a detailed data of their site dimensions, sanctioned plan, constructed area, etc. has to be compiled after duly verifying the original official documents. The owner’s written acceptance of the data should be obtained.
  • All existing site owners will lose their individual ownerships of sites
  • All owners within a specified area will have to form into Co operative societies
  • All site owners will be offered a residential space equal to ‘Present area as per sanctioned plan’ + 20% in the new buildings to be constructed.
  • Existing site owners within a specified area will form into cooperative societies
  • Additional floor space constructed will be sold to new persons and will become members of the society in keeping with the bye laws. Thus the additional floor space constructed will take care of the cost of redevelopment
  • Wherever any residential accommodation is lying vacant the owner should be prohibited from renting it till the redevelopment takes place
  • All existing open spaces like play grounds, parks etc should be used for putting up temporary residential houses both for the site owners as well as the tenants
  • A detailed  redevelopment plan should be drawn up for implementing in phases
  • First the traffic requirement like railway lines/stations, bus stations should be determined
  • The buildings surrounding this should be taken up for demolition and reconstruction
  • All other suggestions mentioned above regarding the development model should be implemented in these areas also.

 

 

HERITAGE PLACES IN A CITY

 Every city will have a number of Heritage structures within the city as well on its outskirts.

Most of these structures will not have been maintained properly as well as their surroundings would be an eye sore.

Suggestions:

A suitable Authority could be set up to maintain and manage all the Heritage Buildings with adequate administrative and legal powers.

Expert advice should be taken to restore the structures which require urgent repairs/strengthening.

The surrounding areas should be cleared of all in- appropriate structures and well maintained gardens should be developed to enhance the beauty of the buildings. Adequate parking and other civic facilities should be provided and maintained properly.

Information about the structures should be displayed in the building itself and should also be available in the form of well designed brochures/ booklets.

Author

Kaushik Vichar

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