Why political agendas never actually solve your problems whereas planners can!
To make things clear by problems we mean everyday problems which people complain about like traffic jams, proper potable water supply, a good drainage and sewerage network, proximity of schools, adequate hospitals, shops at convenient distance, location of work places, lack of parking spaces, narrow and irregular road patters, lack of parks, playgrounds, sport complex etc. Everything which you need on day to day basis for a better quality of life. You might expect the ruling government, municipality, RWA of your area, MLA or some other concerned person to take care of these and provide these facilities. This is where the problem starts, all the above mentioned people are majorly responsible for a regular maintenance or working of all these facilities, the one who can decides what needs to be provided where are often not employed in this complete planning process. People who are actually concerned with the very existence of these facilities are “Planners”. They are the one who are supposed to decide and suggest the requirement of all these facilities to those who are responsible and authorized by law to give orders for the process to start. Those who can actually help you by proposing the required facilities and services comes into play a step before the actual picture is presented to people by government.
Now if this is of even a bit interest to you than I request you to please read on!
You vote for a representative in your area because you are living there, it has been identified in government records because there are number of people living there and it can be classified as a ward or a part of some existing/new ward. What about the new area, new cities, places with no inhabitants? You don’t have government there to take care of your requirements and provide a facility. No agendas as the problem do not exist because there is no inhabitant. In existing areas problems are because of non-working of concerned departments, faulty planning and system, negligence of concerned people and of course previous ruling party is to be blamed and all the politics starts which never seems to provide concrete solution.
What if the new areas are given the required consideration when starting from the scratch? Why to leave the scope of problem and loopholes which certainly be added to some political agendas to win votes? If you never gave a though to who are the people behind these new development in areas with no or very few inhabitants than I would like to inform you that it’s the duty of a development authority/ municipality who needs to appoint “Planners”.
Town planning is a multi-disciplinary field and deals with complicated network interdependent and interrelated network of activities which functions behind the cities to make them sustainable. Due to magnitude of the cities and towns problem, a planner has better comprehension and also in a better position to offer workable solutions through planner interventions, whereas Architects and Civil engineers, by and large , focuses on buildings by involving themselves in preparing building plans /design aspects/structural safety aspects
How will planners help you?
As an individual you have a significant things at stake because of missing planners. You might have come across various newspaper articles criticising urban planning or an area which gave rise to safety issues or crime. In time of natural disasters proper planning results in saving human lives and cost. Poor quality plans effect your life in ways you might not be aware. If this wrong procedure is adopted then you can expect to be stuck in traffic jams for hours, may not have access to clean water, find garbage on road, near your home which will give rise to health issues which will not be addressed because of lack or inadequate hospitals. There will be significant loss of the tax paid from the hard earned money as the funds will be wasted to rectify the errors made by unqualified professionals will creep in from the very beginning. This price will be paid on daily basis, again and again for years as modifying a policy document takes long time and deliberation. Some of the examples include acute shortages of drinking water in Dwarka (although planned but lacks water supply even now after years of its development), threat posed to Pune which has been highlighted again and again, urban flooding as in case of Mumbai, aggravate loss during disasters like in Chennai & Srinagar floods & Uttarakhand cloud burst, earthquake in Gujarat.
Because of such issues and increasing complexity the field of Urban Planning emerged. Qualified planners will be able to provide you much better solutions in both developed and undeveloped areas. Problem solving is done once a problem has been identified which can be best reported by the sufferers of the problem. Just undertaking a project just because it was/is a part of political agenda will not help much as the agendas are framed considering the common and collective issues. Problems faced are of diverse nature which require a tailor made solutions instead of ready-made solutions.
More detail of why to include planners and the existing practice of “development” and “planning process” will be dealt in our next article, “Planning process without Planners”