Monday, November 9, 2009

PMRDA has its job cut out

The tasks for the Pune Metropolitan Development Authority (PMRDA) are already identified. Though the PMRDA is yet to come into formal existence, the authorities have begun preliminary work on some of the priority areas, which include planning for traffic and transportation, water sharing, and solid waste management.
Another important task before the authority is preparation of a revised regional plan for an area spread over 3,000 sq km. The 30-member metropolitan planning committee (MPC), elected last year, has decided to prepare a fresh regional plan by integrating the development plans of the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations, as well as municipal councils of Lonavla, Talegaon and Daund.

Official sources said that a proposal has been sent to the state government for undertaking a traffic and transportation' study, which would help in identifying the options for transportation needs for the next 20 years, not just in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, but in the entire metropolitan region which extends from Lonavla to Daund. The study report would be discussed by MPC.

Sadhana Naik, convenor of the MPC and deputy director of town planning, said that as traffic and transportation is a specialized area, an agency would be appointed for conducting the studies and surveys. The agency would consider the traffic and transportation works proposed/implemented by the Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations. The study would also come up with funding options for the traffic and transportation projects. Incidentally, the state urban development department has already asked the Central Railways to use diesel multiple units from Lonavla to Pune and further up to Daund, without waiting for electrification of the line from Pune to Daund, which would take at least three years.

For water sharing, the government is banking on help from the irrigation department. Problems related to water shortage in the metropolitan region are to be mitigated by schemes funded by the central and state governments. The local planning bodies would be assisted in preparation of project reports for augmenting water supply. The reports would be submitted to the governments for getting funds. Similar work is to be carried out for solid waste management projects also.

While the work on preparation of the base map for the regional plan has been initiated, the authorities said that surveys for studying the existing land-use pattern is yet to be conducted. The urban development department would also be taking help of satellite imagery for preparing the regional plan.

One of the major issues before the authorities while preparing the regional plan is that the development in the area is taking place at a fast pace and those changes needed to be taken into account at every stage of preparation of the plan. For preventing haphazard development, particularly in the fringe areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations, the urban development department has asked the corporations to strictly implement the development control rules up to 10 km from the municipal limits.


PMRDA: THE STORY SO FAR


1997: State government announces plan to set up PMRDA

1999: Legislative assembly passes resolution favouring PMRDA

2007 (August): Govt reiterates that it is keen on setting up PMRDA

2008 (April): A 30-member metropolitan planning committee (MPC) was elected

2009 (January): Chief minister Ashok Chavan holds first meeting of MPC

2009 (February): Cabinet approves an amendment to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act for forming area development authority(s) for various regions

2009 (August): Governor promulgates ordinance for formation of ADA(s)
The Times of India

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