Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DP, Mirror of City Future!

To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects...Le Corbusier

Many a must be wondering by reading the news about the DP in papers & why so much of importance is given to same & what’s the difference its going to make with the life of a common citizen? Questions like this must be coming to mind of most. Well as the quote says DP i.e. Development Plan is like mirror of what city is going to be in coming years!
It is the simple words planning our tomorrow. Here many typical Punekar may ask "So what happened yesterday that our today is such!" Well, can’t blame them totally as the present DP, in fact the past DP is correct term as its life has already come to an end in 2007, we are not definitely up to the mark in implementing the same. Here one will ask what it means end of life of a DP? For that it’s necessary for us to understand the concept of DP or for instance any planning of the infrastructure which is related to the city. Here consider example of Victoria Terminal which we today know as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal i.e. Railway Terminal of Mumbai. British have planned it nearly some 150 years back & it’s for the purpose of carrying the Mumbakiars to & fro from the great city. The structure was planned when the city must be having population hardly 1 lac & look today its grown over 1 crore & still the same building is fulfilling the needs for what it has been build & planed for! This is outcome of proper planning.

A DP is made up of accommodating such number of structures & places for them as well their expand & purpose. DP is a master plan of a city or town fixing its boundaries & defining various uses of the spaces which are going or supposed to serve the population of the city for their various needs. We may think what’s so big deal about it, hasn’t the city grown in past so many years when there was no DP from the time of Peshwa's! The answer is yes & no both. Because even the Peshwas have some planning for e.g. look at the way various Peths( Localities) have been build, they have been build around Shaniwar wada as central structure & many of them are as per the use of a particular profession like Bhande aali, Tambat aali, Kumbhar wada & many so. All this hasn’t happened without planning. That was done as per the need of the time & life style then, now we are in different era, the city has not only expanded physically but the social & cultural needs also have changed.

We need clean & big Roads, Play grounds, Medical facilities, Shopping, Cinema halls, Hostels, Parking places, different means of Transportation for going places, Schools & Colleges & above all homes which can be affordable by every segment of society at the same time balancing the Environment of the city! A DP is amalgamation of all such services as well uses. In DP all these uses are quantified in proportion to the growth of population of the city & various land spaces are notified as per the use. For e.g. some area will be shown as residential where you can build houses but not industries. Some areas will be shown as gardens while some as play grounds, such specified land use for the services is called as Reservations! Now its job of the civic body to acquire these spaces for purpose they have been reserved for & give them final form for which they have been planned for. The first DP has been made way back in 66 & it’s life was ten years. Means what ever has been planned was supposed to execute in ten years & by the end of it new DP was to be prepared for coming years. But its got delayed & the next DP took 83 to come in existence & it’s prepared for 20 years. So what ever has planned in this DP was supposed to be completed by 2003! Well the city has definitely grown much more than what has been expected & some where its defeat of the planners that we failed to judge the growth & need of the city. When it’s said that the DP has been executed 50% or 60%, means the services structure which has been planned has been executed in that percentage. For e.g. if the road net work of 100 km has been designed in a DP which is made for 20 years then at the end of the life of DP its decided by the length of road net work actually completed  that how much efficiently the DP has been executed on road front. A properly planned DP should be backed up by an execution plan also; some how in earlier era this fact was neglected is a fact. That’s the important aspect rather challenge for the new DP makers, to go through the reasons of poor execution of earlier DP & cover them in the new one.

The new DP was supposed to be ready by 2003 but some how understanding the fact to make Plan for such a big city & with so less data as that our 'Kamjor kadi “i.e. weak point, is definitely a tough task & it has taken 2011 for finalizing the DP.  We have never been famous for proper data about the information of the infrastructure. Even the basic stuff like number of patients of a particular dieses for defining need of number of medical centers & that’s actually a back bone to make any DP. Because if you don’t know how many old wada’s are there in city or how many educational institutes are there in a particular zone, how you are going to plan the policy for them? This DP consists of many new concepts keeping in mind the changed face of the city. Right from accommodating need for hostels for students of the city which is now known as educational hub to redevelopment of old city wadas many new dimensions have been acknowledged. Water, Drainage, Traffic are very basic issues & indeed they are important but a city needs many more things than that & this is what a DP should identify! Every single aspect in itself is a subject of discussion & going through many such discussion City's Planning Administration prepares a DP which is required to be sanctioned by City Improvement Committee & at last the General Body of Municipal Corporation. Such DP then goes for suggestion objection of citizen & then to State Govt's Urban Development Dept which at end sends it to Chief Minister who is head of UD! Husshh, it’s a long way affair & the journey has just started by civic administration putting forward the DP to City Improvement Committee!

Remember DP is not a magic wand which when unveiled will clear all the problems we face in the city! It’s as I said just a mirror showing us how the things have planned, it’s up us as citizen to make the rulers answerable to perform as per the DP or else we are mere observers & then there is no point & ending up as the famous Marathi fraze "Bail Gela an Zopa kela"!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

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