PLANNING IN INDIA





INDIAN CITIES ARE PLANNED?!

INDIA, land of oldest civilizations, mosaic multicultural experiences with rich and myriad attractions making it one of most popular tourist destinations of the world. If we go back in the past or live in the present we find many stories to talk about our nation, every city of this country has a story so let’s get back into the past and learn how this country has its most popular cities of the world may it be for its heritage, festivals, culture and definitely its food but

WHY AREN’T CITIES OF INDIA KNOWN FOR ITS PLANNING? WHAT IS MISSING ABOUT PLANNING IN INDIA?

The Great Bath, Mohenjo-Daro

Going back in time, settlements in India were identified from its early civilization “The Indus Valley Civilization” (3300-1300 BCE).  Our entire school history had a word to tell about this civilization. What made this civilization so important for our nation’s history is it only that it was First Human Settlement along the river Indus? Honestly, No. It is its planning indeed.  Though the remains of this civilization is shared by the border of today’s Pakistan which once was integral part of our nation. Now, when we study about these civilization we still can’t get over its most technical urban land use planning design along with their baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large, nonresidential buildings. Not forgeting the most important “The Great Bath”, which may have been a large, public bathing and social area. This civilization is said to have demonstrated world’s first urban sanitation systems.

Sarvotobhadra Town Planning Design

Going ahead in time after these civilizations comes the Vedic Period (upto 400BC), principles of town planning in this era are mentioned in some sacred book like ‘Viswa Karmaprakashan’. Era well known for its Mansara Shilpashastra; The major study was on the soil, climatic condition, topography, fixing orientations to get maximum advantage of sun and wind. And layout of various town plans such as Dandaka, Swastika, Padmaka, Nandyavarta, Prastara, Chaturmukha, Karmuka etc. The general principle was to lay main streets (Raja Marga) were aligned East-West to get the roads purified by the Sun’s rays. Short streets were aligned north – south.

There is another period where education flourished, it was the Buddhist Period (321 BC- 185 BC), town planning narrations of this era is descripted in ‘Artashastra’ a book written by Chanakya, chief minister in the kingdom Chandragupta Maurya. The capital was laid on grid-iron pattern consisting of 16 sectors, most of the houses had gardens with wells and ponds, waste water was carried out by means of underground drainage, the city of Patiliputra then capital of Mauryan Dynasty is today’s Patna was had a deep moat 180m wide and   further protected by ramparts stretching more than 40 km long studded with 64 gates and 570  towers.

Time travelling to the Medievel Period (6th-12th Century) of our nation’s history, the palaces were provided with guard rooms at various strategic points for guards, equipped with arms, weapons, and well–defended by machinery.Common residential houses, houses of Kings, special houses- assembly halls and council chambers, animal- sheds and stables, for cows, horses, and elephants were all planned.

Without checking in to the Golden Era of our nation, “The Mughal Era (1526 AD- 1707 AD)” which was characterized by political unity, centralized administration, a uniform revenue system, fairly a good network of inland trade, growing economic links and overseas trade. The Mughal architecture remembered for combined finest features of Indian and foreign architecture, characterized with domes of various shapes, decorated arcs, tall minarets, balconies, and well balanced proportion of the building is another beautiful part of their architect. Marvelous Mughal gardens constructed between Central Asia and South Asia are beautiful examples of landscape architecture.

PLANNING IS NOT A NEW IDEA OR SCIENCE IN INDIA. IT IS AS OLD AS ITS RICH CULTURE & TRADITION. THEN, WHY ARE MOST OF CITIES OF THIS NATION FACING URBAN PLANNING ISSUES??

 

During the Colonial rule our nation lost most of its beauty and wealth. British planning for Indian cities labored under serious internal contradictions. As a colonial power, Britain ruled India primarily for its own benefit, yet it had to address all the issues of urban administration that any government confronts: design and control of space; provision of water, sewerage, roads, street lighting; and police. The British introduced concepts of urban planning – based largely on emerging European ideals of health and sanitation: improved roads, spaciousness, order and beautification.

After the nation celebrated its independence in 1947, there were high crisis to tackle over by the Indian Government such as poverty, illitracy, health, education etc,. Here, GoI introduced various policies to solve the issues of the citizens in the nation but the greater challenge was the nation’s growing population which is made India the 2nd highest populated country in world with the population of 135.26 crores (2018). The 5 Year Plans were introduced to solve the country’s socio-economic status, growing population and poverty crisis. In India, 21.9% of the population lives below the national poverty line in 2011. Poverty line estimation in India is based on the consumption expenditure and not on the income levels.

Having the look on the current situtaion of the nation the only question that arises is where is the oldest idea or science of urban planning in india lost?SINCE A VERY LONG TIME THIS NATION IS STILL A DEVELOPING COUNTRY WHY ISN’T IT YET DEVELOPED??

 

I’m a student of B.Planning at Nitte School of Architecture, Planning & Design; Bangalore. I would definitely speak about my own city which was once known to be “Garden City” or “Pensioner’s Paradise” and today the city is turned out to be a Garbage City. The infrastructure and landscape of this city wasn’t planned for its

Tender Sure Road Design

fastest growing service sector (IT Industries) and in turn leading to the drastic increase in population of the city. The city is known to be Silicon City of India but has very little capacity of holding the population growth.  If I as a future Urban Planner need to talk about planning in India I would definitely tell our cities still have rays of hope in their planned development, Government of India is formulated various strategies, policies and programs to enhance the quality of living of its cities. Projects like Smart City, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are at a good progress in most of Indian cities like Mysore City in Karnataka ranks first to achieve a successful Swachh bharat mission in 2015-16. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and infrastructural assets of the Greater Bangalore metropolitan area. This administrative body is started developing smart roads Tender-Sure roads at the major commercial zones of the city like MG road, Church Street, etc. since even Bangalore city comes under the Smart City Project of India. Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is an organization that is responsible for preparation and revision of the Master Plan for Bengaluru Metropolitan Area, preparation of Layout Plans, approval of Development Plans for Layouts and Group Housing Schemes and generally assists in its function as the Planning Authority of Bengaluru. Various such projects are being implemented by both the BBMP and BDA to provide good infrastructure and quality of life in the city, but are yet facing issues with its Infrastructure and maintenance; since Bangalore has expanded rapidly along the growth of its population and population density with limited resources and inappropriate planning techniques. Now I believe that it is our prior responsibility being the citizens of Bangalore to cooperate with government activities and also individually start over redeveloping our city back as Pensioner’s Paradise/ Garden City of India.

 

NUSRATH SULTANA

Student of B.Planning

Nitte School of Architecture, Planning & Design

Yelahanka, Bangalore- 5600

Contact: nusrathsultana912@gmail.com Phone: +917975812191

#planninginindia #urbanplanning#earlyartofplanningcivilization
Related Articles
SMART CITY MISSION : IT’S IMPACT- BY MITASHA DUGGAL
SUSTAINABLE CITIES
CONCEPT OF 3-30-300 RULES IN URBAN AREAS
Co-living becoming the next biggest wave in the real estate sector
SMART CITIES
;