Master plans drawn up for Indian cities tend to focus only on land use, at the cost of ignoring issues like public transport, water and funding governance, speakers said at a seminar on urban planning in Bengaluru.
The controversial Bengaluru Draft Revised Master Plan 2031 was the focus of the meet termed ‘Smart urban planning for 21st century: Challenges and choices’, organized by Smart Cities India Foundation and Public Affairs Centre.
Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said Indian urban planners are stuck in the bullock-cart age. “This seems to be the case in Delhi at least, where the municipal corporation seems to be out of sync.”
Unfortunately, masterplans emphasize too much on land use and don’t take other matters into account. The most developed cities have a strong public transport system and fewer private vehicles on roads. Also, local bodies should be able to raise funds themselves and not depend on the Centre or state, he said.
Outlining the features of Bengaluru’s draft master plan, Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Kelachandra Joseph George admitted the city needs to start identifying new sources of water. “It is impossible for one master plan to fix all problems, but we are hoping to solve as many as possible. However, it won’t be possible without the public’s support, and we will take your ideas into consideration,” he said.