Monday, August 6, 2012

Nitish does a Modi for Patna makeover

Nitish Kumar may have whipped up a political storm with his scathing attacks on Narendra Modi, but, when it comes to giving Patna a makeover, the Bihar chief minister doesn’t mind a Gujarat influence. 
    Based on Gujarat’s town planning schemes, Ahmedabad’s Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Cept) University has prepared a master plan for Patna’s town planning scheme. The draft, which has been approved in principle, will guide planned urban development in Bihar. 
    In January 2011, the Bihar government had approached Cept to prepare a city development plan for Patna, which had been facing civic issues, especially water-logging, waste management and unplanned constructions. Cept is now ready with the new planning scheme for Patna, which will be announced in August by Nitish. 
    During discussions with Cept and Patna-based consultants, representatives of the Bihar government had requested that Bihar’s urban plan should be similar to that of Gujarat. “Cept has submitted its recommendations along with the master plan to the Patna city authorities, which has been approved. The plan is based on Gujarat’s town planning model,” said Utpal Sharma, dean, faculty of planning & public policy at Cept University. 
    As part of the task, Cept prepared a master plan, which covers areas like town planning, urban flood and solid waste management, housing plans for poor, public transport, industrial area infrastructure development and even tourism. Cept has also proposed conservation measures for heritage structures in Patna. “Patna is different from other cities and has its own charm, history and stories. But the city is quite congested and had not been planned for the last 20 years,” Sharma added.