What is urban planning and why does India need integrated urban planning?

  • Urban planning is a process under which various aspects related to the development of the city are controlled by planning directly at the local level. With its help, objectives like mobility, quality of life and sustainability of the residents are met. Urban planning has become an important aspect of today’s growing urbanization.
  • We know that India is also going through a rapid urbanization process. U.N. According to the Urbanization Prospectus, 2018 report, about 34 percent of India’s population lives in urban areas. It has registered an increase of 3 percent compared to the 2011 census.
  • The number of megassize urban clusters has remained stable for many years while the number of smaller urban clusters has been increasing rapidly. Let me tell you that they are called Megasize Urban Clusters which have a population above 50 lakhs. Due to this increase in urbanization, the demand-supply gap of cities is also increasing. Apart from housing, this difference is also visible in water, sanitation and sanitation, transport and communication services.
  • Due to the difference between villages and cities due to facilities, there is a migration from villages to cities. In such a situation, the question is whether these urban areas are fully ready to assimilate new residents? On the other hand, we also see that India is a country affected by natural disasters.
  • Both rural and urban areas of India are vulnerable to these disasters. But Indian cities are more vulnerable to these disasters due to higher population density. Every disaster exposes the mistakes made in the process of rapid urbanization. In view of these problems, there is a need for a solid urban planning for the cities of the country, in which a master plan based on scientific and rational approach has been arranged.

How does poor urban planning lead to disaster and various critical situations in the city?

  • The increasing pressure of population also puts pressure on the developmental work of cities. The work done to meet human needs has a negative impact on the basic ecological system which is not possible to compensate after a time frame. Also, the deficiencies in urban planning make these disasters more serious.
  • Urban planning is based on master plan or development plan. These plans are also based on land use i.e. land is divided into several sections like Residential, Commercial, Transportation, Public and Government offices etc. based on various human activities. These schemes receive approval from the respective state legislature which have to be completed over a period of about 20-25 years; But these master plans are not implemented properly due to lack of funds.
  • An important concern with the current urban planning system of the country is that it is based on old methods of land use. We have to go ahead and adopt a plan and process that is according to the needs of the people.
  • Let us tell you that the lack of coordination between urban planning and local governance is also a basic deficiency in our planning process. However, the 74th Constitutional Amendment was said to empower urban and local governments so that they can function as self-government institutions. But, their effectiveness with respect to urban planning is still limited. In 1985, the Central Government introduced the Model Regional and City Planning and Development Act. However, most states have failed to incorporate its provisions in their planning laws.
  • On the other hand, the number of motorization in India is in its explosive condition. Road transport has been a major cause of increase in greenhouse gases. Indeed, toxic emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are increased by urban traffic. In such a situation, mismanagement of urban planning is becoming one of the main causes of urban heat islands and pollution.
  • WHO And a study by UN-Habitat showed that the use of city buildings and home bulbs, air conditioners, refrigerators and water coolers, etc., increases the temperature of urban areas by 2-3 degrees Celsius. If we look at the health related issues, the settlements made by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and very small houses where the communication of daylight and air is not done smoothly, there are TBs. The spread of such diseases is seen. This fact proves that T.B. Designing of housing plays an important role in the growth and reduction of diseases like.
    Apart from the factors of pollution, fire in buildings and the collapse of various urban infrastructures and buildings also shows the mismanagement of urban planning. In order to meet the basic needs of the growing population, compliance with various building construction standards and policies is not being done properly. Generally, fire safety provisions are missing in the design of buildings. The Fire Department also lacks the technical knowledge to assess fire hazards. The departments concerned rarely issue no-objection certificates based on fire experience.
  • Now if we keep an eye on disasters, the CAG declared the 2005 Chennai flood as a man-made disaster. According to the CAG report, the release of indiscriminate water from the Chamberambakam lake led to increased water pressure on the Adyar river, causing flooding in the city and suburbs. Non-sedimentation of rivers was also one of the main reasons.
  • Similarly, the cause of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014 was also the unplanned development of the city on the banks of the Jhelum River which increased the level of disaster. The disaster management system of Jammu and Kashmir is also under development and it does not have any flood forecasting system. According to a report, the sweet river of Mumbai city which has been blocked due to waste has lost 60 percent of its catchment area in the development of the city. Whereas we know that a clean and clean river serves to drain the flood water rapidly.
  • Talking about the Kerala floods, the Madhav Gadgil Committee submitted a report on the vulnerability of the Western Ghats in 2011, which spoke about the conservation of biodiversity. Strict regulation was said, prohibiting some new industrial and mining operations in the region. Not taking this report seriously, various human interventions such as uncontrolled stone mining, construction related activities and faulty dam management caused the Kerala floods.

Some important government policies and international efforts for better management of urban planning

  • India’s first National Commission on Urbanization in 1988 submitted a report on urban policy. After that, in 1992, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were brought, which are known as Panchayati Raj Act and Municipal Act. Its purpose was to develop villages and cities through economic and local planning. Since land is a state subject, only a few states adopted it. This led to a slowdown in its implementation.
  • The Government of India then adopted the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, 2005, which was the first step of its kind.
  • In 2015, the Government of India launched the Smart City Mission with the objective of improving the status of 100 cities within 5 years. In 2015 itself, AMRUT scheme i.e. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation was introduced for the development of more and more cities with modern facilities. Apart from all this, recently the central government is trying to bring a national urban policy for the whole country.
  • Since urban development is a state subject, no comprehensive national policy has been formulated so far that suggests schemes related to urbanization. However, this first National Urban Policy of the country focuses on 10 main areas, the main ones being – cooperative federalism, inclusive growth, sustainability, empowerment of local institutions, urban infrastructure finance system, strong urban information system etc.
  • Let me tell you here that at the international level also. Habitat ‘is a United Nations program underway that is working towards a better urban future globally. Its goal is to develop socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements and to get adequate shelter for all.
  • Significantly, Habitat 3 was organized in 2016, which is a United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development every two decades. The New Urban Agenda released in Habitat 3 describes what countries need to do to achieve sustainable urban development between 2016 and 2030. India is also shaping its urban planning by making it the basis of this agenda. That’s where we find U.N. According to Sustainable Development Goal-11, cities and human settlements should also be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

What else needs to be done for better management of urban planning?

  • For better management of urban planning, firstly there needs to be participation of citizens in effective urban planning, only then world class urban India can be built. The tasks listed under the 12th schedule of the constitution include urban planning, regulation of land use and preparation of plans for economic and social development. Therefore, the states are expected to entrust these works to the municipal corporation.
  • According to the 74th Constitutional Amendment, arrangement has been made for the formation of Metropolitan Planning Committee in Metropolitan City. Who will integrate the plans prepared by the local bodies into the metropolitan area. Let us tell you that Metropolitan City is called cities that have a population above one million.
  • There has also been talk of the formation of a ward committee for every city above 3 lakh, which will look after the municipal works. It is necessary to make all these institutions an integral part of the planning process. At the same time we see that on the other hand, urban local bodies have been entrusted with a lot of responsibilities in the name of decentralization.
  • Local bodies also have shortage of manpower for inspection work. Therefore, there is a need to focus on making the system online while reducing paper work. Modernization of the existing approval processes is also necessary.
  • Considering urbanization as an integral part of the economic development of the country, the Government of India think tank NITI Aayog has said to include efficient and sustainable public transport in the policy. The NITI Aayog has also suggested the formation of a unified metropolitan transport authority for cities with a population of more than 10 lakh. These will form a coordinated public transport plan.
  • A recent report has revealed that metropolitan cities have outperformed megacities in terms of emission and energy consumption of greenhouse gases. The reason for this is stated to be low population, travel ratio and number of vehicles here. Both Kolkata and Mumbai have well integrated the public transport system with land use. In 2004, Mumbai became the first city to adopt non-motorized transport. Its purpose was to increase the number of walking and cycling people by creating a network of cycle tracks and greenways.
  • Emphasis is being laid on making roads in southern India in the north-south direction to avoid urban heat island related challenges so that direct sunlight can be avoided. Urban planning includes works such as painting the various parts of the streets, the upper part of the roof white, to reflect the maximum amount of sun radiation.
  • If the roads are narrow, then the height of the buildings is also said to be equal to the width of the roads, this helps in heat control. Every 7 sq km at the time of construction activities. But this also includes leaving an area of ​​1 sq km for water bodies and open spaces. There has been talk of constructing pavements in such a way that during rainy season they also play a supporting role in water absorption.
  • At the time of planning, it is necessary to keep in mind the issue of economic inequality so that no section of the society is marginalized. Because, these classes are the most likely to be affected in times of disaster. Such arrangements should be made for the poor living in residential facilities where there is no shortage of basic facilities. A similar social housing project has been brought to Indonesia which offers a good example of better air communication and quality living.
  • India’s geo-tectonics situation is also changing. In such a situation even if a moderate intensity earthquake occurs in Delhi, the magnitude of the disaster cannot be estimated. The newly constructed buildings of the capital rarely follow the National Buildings Code, the Vulnerability Atlas of India 2006 and the building bye-laws.

While on the one hand building standards should follow earthquake resistance safety standards while building urban infrastructure, on the other hand during flood disaster management we also need to keep in mind that traditional drainage in cities for construction of buildings and roads There should be no encroachment of systems and various water bodies like lakes, ponds and wetlands. River Regulation Zone notifications need to be made effective to prevent encroachment of river bed and flood plains. The Ministry of Environment released it to the states

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