BUY sell RENT Patna

residential/commercial

Patna is a curious case of too much and too less URBAN planning.

 

Cities are the ideal form of modern civilization. Therefore urbanization is a measure of development.  In many ways, Patna has grown organically due to economic imperatives and incentives and lately has followed the vertical growth model that is necessary for accommodating the urban density best suited to creative and financial collaboration. But it is also, as the chaos created by the monsoon every year shows, a warning of what happens when the state abandons its role of shaping and enabling the growth of urban centres like PATNA. In last 25 years “The State” has not come up with a single planned “COLONY” in Patna and the depleted roads and other amenities in colonies like Rajendra Nagar, Sri Krishna Nagar, Gardanibagh and many other planned colonies of yesteryears in Patna reflects State’s apathy to urbanization in Bihar. This means the lack of any semblance of planning—not helped by impropriety where private developers were able to push residential and commercial projects in Patna through without adequate development plans of the neighbourhood. This failure has undercut the growth story of Patna as a MODERN CITY OF 21st CENTURY.


From security and electricity (the number of generators that run in Patna’s commercial hubs) to water and transport, the private sector must fill in for the state’s deficiencies; this has been the story in the last 25 years. Commercial and residential complexes are oases connected by worn out urban infrastructure. Sewage disposal, a major issue, becomes a health hazard every time flooding occurs due to rains in the city. There are also negative environmental consequences. The lack of adequate water supply infrastructure means that thousands of private borings have been dug, resulting in a rapidly receding water table in Patna. The transport infrastructure is terrible at the best of times in Patna and many will say there is no public transport infrastructure in Patna.


Urban planning in Patna is a strange mix of not enough planning and too much of it. On the one hand, Patna does not have a holistic 20-year or 40-year guidelines at all. The Master Plan for Patna is stuck with authorities for years. And when such plans will be created, the process is so delayed that the end result is irrelevant. On the other, urban planning continues to be based on the UK’s Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 with an emphasis on land-use zoning and all the rigidity that comes with it; we are witnessing the floor space index constraints that have contributed to distorting Patna’s land market. This is contrary to current global best practices: flexible planning with local governance bodies accommodating market forces and seeing land use and urban transportation as complementary, simultaneous processes.


The devolution of urban governance envisaged by the 74th constitutional amendment never really took place in the state. Urban local bodies (ULBs) lack both accountability and authority. The lack of an effective mayoral system is particularly keenly felt in Patna. Devolution of urban financing is another aspect of this. Central schemes like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission are ad hoc measures and run contrary to the principle of sustainable devolution. There are several other avenues innovative planning could explore—from monetizing state land assets to user charges for urban infrastructure such as road networks in prime areas.


Urban governance bodies also function within a tangle of overlapping jurisdictions. In Patna, for instance, Patna Nagar Nigam, the Public Works Department, other government bodies and private developers all play in the same sandpit. The end result isn’t pretty.


According to the 2011 census, a little over 11% of the state population resides in urban areas; this is expected to grow to double by 2030. The increase in pressure on urban infrastructure will mean a corresponding growth in the consequences of these urban governance shortfalls. If Patna is to exploit this in its favour and grow, it must address its many, often contradictory problems where the state abandons its necessary roles and has a presence in areas that would be better served by its absence. “The state is absent where it is needed and present where it need not be” brings in the most anarchy in the urbanization process of Patna and other cities/towns of Bihar.



 

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