Urban Flood, Real Estate Development and Planners

The symbol of Indian industrial progress, urbanization of India is not free of problems. The recent news of flooding in Bengaluru, Gurgaon is neither new nor uncommon in Indian town which get heavy rainfall during monsoon. The problem of flooding is directly linked to the poor basic infrastructures in towns like storm water drainage. The greed for faster and uncontrolled urbanization has led to growth of real estate in India which is run and controlled by politicians and real estate developers. The lack of proper planning of urban areas like Gurgaon is well evident.
Urban Planning
The large scale development by developers do not care about the carrying capacity of the drainage network. They are list concerned with the city level storm water drainage. The unavailability of the urban planners in most of the municipal bodies is well evident, civil engineers and architects most of the time concentrate on local level of infrastructure and most of the time they lack the city level planning skills which is imparted to urban planners.
Urban flood has been in news for many big towns like Mumbai, Chennai, Bhopal, Patna, Gurgaon and others. The cause of the problem likes in the corrupt practices of the unplanned developed unleased by politicians and controlled by real estate developers.
 The builders’ mafia and corrupt officers in planning authorities give permission for large scale urban development without looking into various carrying capacity of the different basic infrastructures, like roads, water supply, drainage, sewerage etc. The depletion of the ground water and pollution of the ground water in most of the urban areas is often a neglected issue and this has led to mixing of drinking water from water supply with the sewerage water in many parts of the Delhi. Ground water is so polluted in some areas of Delhi that one will get sewerage water instead of drinking water from hand pumps. All these are linked to the unplanned development which is taking place in sub-urban areas of the town which are increasing the load on the existing infrastructure.
Most of the development plan which prepared in India are full of lacunae and most of them are not implemented. In most of such plans, there is hardly any mention of the carrying capacity of the existing or proposed infrastructure.
The trend of giving every development projects to consultants and not recruiting urban planners has made most of the development authorities and municipalities weaker and deficient in technical staffs who can monitor and implement the development plans.
It is suggested for small municipalities to hire a planner for making any plan rather than given it to some consultants. This will be more beneficial as the recruited planner will increase the capacity and skills of the other staffs like civil engineers and architects who work in isolation in absence of the urban planner who can co-ordinate the works and make sure that plans are prepared, executed, implemented and monitored in due time and proper manner.
In most of the towns, there will be a post for urban planner but what is tragedy is that that post is occupied by civil engineers, architects, sociologists, and economists etc. who have partial knowledge of the urban planning.
The institutions like Town and Country Planning Organizations, Institute of Town Planners, India should come forward to make sure that every town has one qualified planners who can coordinate and overseer the planning works in development authorities and municipalities.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma