Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Town Planning for India:

At the start of civilisation the basic need was food and water. Rivers could provide these needs so the settlement continued where water was easily available. Things changed as the man found methods to carry water and transportation became fundamental need of the man. Therefore, communication methods gained priority over water. Today, development takes place along the road or railway or sea shore or rivers with water round the year etc. meaning facility of transportation. Town planning also takes this in to consideration apart from other indexes like pollution, trees, environment etc. While doing this advantage of existing cities and infrastructure available should be taken in to consideration. In short future planning should develop communication system first, and then establish townships.

There are many communication methods are available. They are listed as under:-
1.      Road.
2.      Train.
3.      Metro Train.
4.      Fast Train.
5.      Bullet Train
6.     Water transport
7.      Helicopter.
8.      Aeroplanes of all capacities.
9.      Water transport.

For surface transport and air transport corridors could be designed and constructed so that existing big towns/cities could be connected. Such connection can consider connecting various forests also. The corridor could be say 200 metre or wider. A strip of say 100 metre orso should be reserved for providing a path for wild animal to wander from 1forest to other. This should be planted with appropriate categories of trees and bushes and should have adequately tall walls to avoid disturbance to and from the animals who would use this path. Walls are needed for safety of people and also to keep animals safe from people.
Both the sides of forest strip the space should be used for appropriate transport i.e. trains and road transport vehicles. Helipads and aerodromes should be provided at appropriate places nearby this corridor. Train stations and road transport stops also should be provided by increasing the width of corridor at interval of say 5 km for trains, 2.5 km for metro train and buses. Similar provision should be made for goods transport also. While providing this special care should be taken for approaches to the station without disturbing other transport paths. This could be done by providing over head bridges for road vehicular traffic and human crossings where necessary. It would be appropriate to provide rail lines towards centre and road ways on the outer side. Along this strip (not more than 1.5 km) land strip should be used for establishing townships.
This area should be planned with internal roads and all amenities needed for a town. The amenities should include gardens, play grounds, stadiums, government offices, police stations, bazaar, hawker zones, parking lots, bus stations, railway stations, public washing/cleaning places for men and women separately and all those requirements needed by people. Rest of the area should be planned for residential and commercial complexes including factories, hotels, private sector offices etc. No construction other than planned shall be allowed in this area. Also no construction outside this area shall be allowed even on temporary basis. Township limit shall be fixed to this area permanently. There shall not be even paths to connect outside area and no public service like water electricity etc. shall be provided from the township.
Land would be a problem. People whose land is taken for development shall be landless and whose land is not used for public amenities would become rich on account of increased land value. The solution could be found by redistributing the land. The entire 3.5 km wide strip should be redistributed by deducting 14% of the land earmarked for development. Whatever land is earmarked for  residential and commercial complexes including factories, hotels, private sector offices etc. should be sold by cooperative of people whose land is in the strip and the money be distributed among the members of society in the proportion of individual land holding before planning of township. This way justice could be given to the people w/o making them landless. Their holding would be decreased by 14% and money would be paid only after land is sold for housing etc. though. This method should be fair to all, it would avoid burden on big cities, develop rural area, make available passage for forest animals and maintain ecological balance. Similar planning should be done along the seacoast also.
There are many problems faced by citizens in the city. These are listed below.
  1. Security of premises.
  2. Parking of vehicles.
  3. Slums.
  4. Integration of society.
  5. Old age homes.
  6. First aid Facility
  7. Primary repair shop for home appliances and vehicles
  8. Primary shops for day to day urgent needs of citizens.
  9. Household Waste disposal
  10. Industrial and commercial waste disposal.
  11. Transport for reaching work place or other places.
  12. Traffic control.
  13. Hawkers
  14. Accommodation for retired soldiers of Indian Armed forcrs & Police.
1.      During olden days residential houses were constructed like architecture of a fort.  Various rooms were constructed along the boundary of the plot with a single opening for entrance. This method made sure that anyone entering premises would attract attention of more or less every occupant in the premises. Thus no one would dare to enter premises with illegal intention. Generally in such a construction a small well used to be located in the centre for water supply. In case of emergency this water was available and hence protection from fire had been ensured. This architecture should be combined with modern architecture of multi-storey apartment/flats. This can be easily done by constructing flats or apartments along border of the plot with approach gallery from staircase to gallery in front of flats along the line of the flats. On top of the staircase a water tank of adequate capacity be constructed for emergency i.e. if fire breaks. The remaining open place should be use for sports like swimming, badminton, kabbaddi etc.
2.      It should be made compulsory to provide one parking place on full floor per 4 storey of the building (This means including parking place there would be 5 floors). In addition there must be open air space available for guests/visitors. This could be provided in open area around the building. This will ensure safe zone around buildings and internal road/footpath around building.
3.      Every city has slums all around. Towns are also no exceptions. No government so far is in a position to get rid of this nuisance.  Some cities have tried to develop alternate accommodation for slum dwellers. However they have failed to provide enough dwellings in the available finance. Secondly these have been provided away from general population following older system of untouchability. This is not a right solution. There is a possible solution to accommodate every slum dwellers who can pay for flat at constructional rate. The government should make it compulsory for builders/developers to reserve 25% of flats on any floor in a multi-storey building with 3 or more floors. Location of the floor for flats to be constructed for slum dwellers should be left to the builder/developer. Architecture may consist of provisions for independent entrance etc. to such dwellings. The government contribution needed is “Do not consider floor area of flats developed for slum dwellers in FSI calculations”
4.      Constructing accommodation in Para 3 above shall help in integration of the society. Additional efforts may be made through teaching. Museum, posters, lectures, gatherings, TV shows, radio etc. would result in integration of the society. Special stress be given on universal religion i.e. “Help others”
5.      Indians have great faith in family. Those who have grand children always like to stay near or rather with them. Under changed circumstances it is financially impossible to buy accommodation adequate enough to accommodate old parents. A solution for this would be construction a flat with common living, dining rooms and kitchen with independent bedroom with attached toilets. This can be constructed on the same floor as slum dwellers. This flat may provide 5-6 or more bedrooms so that parents of flat owners can stay here. Contacting grandparents shall not be a problem in this arrangement.
6.      Every dwelling should have first aid facility. In a group of dwelling a dispensary could be established with clinical laboratory, facility for primary checkups, treatment for minor diseases and if feasible ambulance. In a multi-storey complex where dwellings for slum dwellers are provided on a particular floor this facility can be established on the same floor.
7.      In cities there is a need for repair of kitchen appliances and also vehicles. Facility is also needed for buying day to day needs like vegetables. This can be fulfilled on the same floor.
8.      Waste disposal is the worst disadvantage in most of the towns or rather all over Bharat. Individuals have found solutions. However, the government has never tested even a single solution and conducted training for citizens. Presently only action taken is propaganda of cleanliness. This is not giving any results and nothing can be expected also. Industries and commercial establishments are not encouraged for waste disposal. The result is life is threatened by pollution.
9.      Reliable transport is a major need of citizens. Experience shows that public transport has failed in this respect and citizens are forced to use personal private transport in spite of it proves costly and uneconomical except for reliability. Reliable public transport has added advatage of reduction in pollution. The government need to provide reliable public transport to avoid expenditure on pollution prevention.
10.   Providing public transport has impotant side advantages in traffic control, road/flyover construction/maintenance etc. Government approach need change to find solution to prolem which include,  safe & pollution free environment.
11.  Public transport should be provided in such a way that cowding of vehicles on road should be withing permissible limits of the road width. This means where roads are likely to be crowded with private vehicles, there should be arrangement for Parking of private vehicles and public transport to destination. In cities and towns for convinience, work places are concentrated in a particular area while people reside in different parts far away from each other. In many cases it is not economical to provide public transport from every place in the city because of low density of traffic. Under such circumstances people should be brought to a point using their own/private transport and provide  public transport from that point to place of work. Inescapable need of parking of private vehicles must not be forgotten though.
12.   Traffic control in traditional ways indicatesonly reaching targets or not  finning defaulters for personal gains. Second part is unacceptable to citizens in general. Persons responsible for traffic control need to think and find new methods to control citizens. Examples are (a) Most of the citizens have mobile phones. If traffic department selects a phone number and request citizens to send photographs of citizens breaking traffic rules, such information could be obtained by them provided the sender is given 100% compensation for this message. The department can easily do this because the expenditure can be recovered from rule breaker by enhansing penalty charged. This would need strict control on police involved in execution. (b) We know that age of children sudying up to first year of senior college is less than 18 years in general. Enforcement staff must visit schools/colleges and find out whether students who have no driving license are using two wheelers. This will help them to reach their target and reduce vehicular traffic. (c) Available police be posted to control traffic, especially at road crossings. These police shouuld declare money on them while reporting for duty. If more money is found on the police he/she be tried for corruption with full responsibility of providing proof. (d) Wherever possible road furniture should be provided so that no vehicle driver would be able to break rule. As an example consider a vehicle driver who wants to turn right at next crossing. Lane dividers should be designed in such a manner that only those drivers in the right lane can turn their vehicle to right. Others would go in the different direction.
13.  Hawkers is a necessity of the citizens. They should be treated accordingly. They provide service at residence or place near to residence. This benefits residents as well as for traffic control. Hawkers supply needs of residence at their doorstep and hence citizens need to go out and create traffic jam.
14.  Accommodation for living is a key issue specially in cities/towns. Not that this problem doesn’t exists in villages. However, generally villagers have lesser needs and they manage some how. In cities and towns Land prices are high and hence accommodation is costly. The govt. Must consider cheaper accommodation for armed forces personner, police, residents of JJ colonies, oldage homes, first aid centres, repair shops for domestic apiances, hawkers selling day to day needs like vegitables, grocery and alike. The govt. Can solve this point by making a law for town planners that FSI for such accommodation be excluded from FSI of the building. This way every builder can offer such accommodation at the rate of construction cost. This point is discussed in details in earlier paragraphs 3 to 7.

India not only can be a better place but shall have credit to be pioneer in finding architectural solution suitable for indian environment.

No comments:

Popular Posts