Will the New DP strip Pune of its true identity?

Published: 10 December, 2012 07:34 IST | Vivek Sabnis |

As the draft of the new Development Plan will be discussed in the PMC's general body meeting on Tuesday, MiD DAY tries to find out what lies in store for the state's cultural capital

‘Old Pune may lose its identity’
Ujjwal Keskar: It’s good that the DP is finally going to be in the PMC’s General Body meeting. I remember, last time (1997) only eight corporators took part in the discussion. I expect the numbers to increase this year. Besides, the elected representatives should study the DP first, and then raise pertinent issues.

Yashwant Kanhere: Literacy about the DP is must for all the corporators, as it’s a supreme means in the bid to make a developed city. It also provides a good opportunity to study one’s own area and discuss it’s developmental planning. However, along with the elected members, experts too should be given an opportunity to speak.

Old is gold: According to experts, Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace and Pataleshwar Temple should not lose their identity. File pics

Purva Keskar: Members should do proper homework before discussing the DP. The urban heritage, which the city boasts of, should not get lost. I fear that old Pune may lose its identity. Hence, along with providing infrastructural facilities, the GB should also focus on contextual planning with reference to the heritage of the old city.

Anagha Paranjpe: One should ensure that development leads to no direct impact on the city’s culture and heritage. Let the core area of Pune not loose its original look. Shaniwar Wada, Aga Khan Palace and Pataleshwar Temple should not lose their standing.

Plan and the futuristic Pune
Anagha Paranjpe: It has become a fashion to use words like ‘sustainable development’. However, the development does not reflect in the plan at all.
One just cannot imagine what would be the plight of the city after a decade or two. We had not even given a thought to the environmental protection of the old city. There’s no need to expand the city, but to plan systematically for the next generation.

Ujjwal Keskar: The DP is actually to protect interest of some builders, and not the environment. One can see that in all the 120 suggestions that were made by the members of City Improvement Committee (CIC).
The cluster development, as suggested by CIC, will ruin the city and give it a tacky look. Also, it seems that Metro rail is being planned to ensure the population in the city grows enormously. Once that happens, it will be a help to builders, as they’ll get additional FSI.

Yashwant Kanhere: Taking help of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act of 1966, which is modified up to July 2011, the DP has been made.  There are certain norms for using FSI and TDR in the MRTP. However, the politicians and bureaucrats are using FSI and TDR according to their whims and fancies. The DP comes under the Urban Development Planning and the Town Planning should enforce it properly. It requires better coordination between various departments of the government.

Implementation of last Development Plan
Ujjwal Keskar: Out of 134 reservations at Sector 2 (Bibwewadi and Parvati) in the last DP, only 10 were made in the past 25 years. The situation is even worse in the old city (Sector 1), where zero implementation was made out of 89 reservations. The civic body could have struck a compromise with landowners by offering them additional FSI or TDR.  However, to do so properly, the civic body doesn’t have any arbitrator. Besides, it doesn’t even have an architect who can examine such matters by studying the map of the reserved plot.

Purva Keskar: The PMC should have, at least, taken possession of the 59 reservations that where already under the authority of Town Planning Department. The DP should be reviewed by the PMC, as same recommendations and reservations are made in the present DP, which already existed in the DPs of 1987 and some even in that of 1966.

Anagha Paranjpe: Before knowing the present DP, there is also a need to know if provision made in the DP of 1987 were fulfilled or not. Let the citizens know how the same mistakes are done again and again while preparing the Development Plan.

Yashwant Kanhere: Development without destruction is the key to any DP. The general body should discuss the natural and man-made resources for a futuristic Pune. Reviewing the earlier DP will certainly help. DP is not a Western concept, it has been happening since the Mughal era and was even adopted by the Peshwa regime. Rather than attempting to make Pune a Singapore, we need to take into consideration the ground reality and work accordingly.

Distinguished panelists

Purva Keskar
Architect, urban designer and environmental planner

Anagha Paranjpe
Architect and environmental planner

Ujjwal Keskar
Former corporator, Pune Janhit Aghadi

Yashwant Kanhere,
Retired deputy director, Town Planning 

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