The World Town Planning Day (WTPD) is held on November 8 in 30 countries, including India, to recognise and promote the role of planning in creating livable communities and sustainable urbanization. An international organisation for the WTPD was founded in 1949 by late Prof Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires.
Bhubaneswar as the capital city has attracted migrants from both rural and urban areas for better opportunity for business and employment. There is not enough provision for the housing and other infrastructural facility for the migrant people in the city. They suffer from poor living and working conditions, social isolation, poor access to basic amenities, while most of them settled down in slum pockets. As per 1941 Census, only three percent of the total population in Odisha lived in cities and towns as against 13.86 per cent for India. In 2011 census, the proportion of population living in the urban areas of the State stood at 16.68 per cent as compared to 31.16 per cent for the country. Odisha ranks 31st in the list of most urbanized States of the country, while in terms of actual urban population, the State ranks 11th in the list of States with the largest urban population.
The National Commission on Urbanization (NCU) has, in its policy proposal of 1988, stressed the need for (1) evolution of a spatial pattern of economic development and hierarchies of human settlements, (2) optimum distribution of population between rural and urban settlements, and among towns and cities of various sizes, (3) distribution of economic activities in small and medium-sized growth centres and provision of minimum levels of services in urban and rural areas.
The other major development programmes include (i) Urban Basic Services for the Poor (UBSP) programme, (ii) Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums (EIUS) programme, (iii) Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns (IDSMT) (iv) various housing and infrastructure financing schemes of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), (v) Mega Cities Project, and (vi) Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme (IUPEP). In India, the Government is embarking on phase 2 of a major national initiative to improve urban living conditions. It seeks to consolidate the impacts of the national urban flagship programme – JNNURM targeting urban poverty, infrastructure, and local government policies, and Rajiv Awas Yojana(RAY) for the urban poor. The RAY aims at supporting States to provide security of tenure to slum dwellers, and finance city-wide slum free strategies.
India has formulated a number of urban policies in the last decade but despite these initiatives, there are still examples of slum housing in the country. Odisha is one of the pioneering States in implementing various urban reforms in the country. The Directorate of Town Planning is the nodal agency for all urban planning related activities in the State. The State Government has initiated the preparation of master plans / CDPs for the various development areas in urban Odisha. During 2015-16, Comprehensive Development Plans (CDP) using GIS technologies have been taken up for the development areas under nine Development Authorities and consultants have been engaged. Among the nine development authorities, the BDA, the CDA, the BeDA and the KNDA have completed the preparation of CDPs and have secured approval of the Government (HUD department). For the remaining five development authorities, the draft CDP has been prepared. A draft GIS based master plan for Jharsuguda Regional Improvement Trust (JRIT) has already been completed.
Preparation of GIS based master plan for the next 11 towns are being undertaken. Master plans for five towns i.e. Bhadrak, Baleswar, Baripada, Keonjhar and Barbil are under progress by the identified consultants. For the remaining six towns, consultants have been selected. The digital data base for further twenty towns is being prepared by the ORSAC. As per the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, the State Government has already devolved 18 functions enumerated in the 12th schedule of the Constitution to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Out of the 18 functions, 12 functions were already being exercised by the ULBs even before the initiation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. After introduction of the JNNURM, as part of its commitment, the State Government in principles has already transferred six functions, i. e. urban planning including town planning, land use and construction of building, urban forestry, water supply, fire service and safeguarding the interest of the weaker section of the society including the handicapped and mentally retarded.
Many communities are successfully using planning approaches that aim to use existing resources more effectively and minimize the impact of development on the environment. There is a need to work on several areas to manage the problems of urbanization, including inclusive cities, urban governance, funding, planning and capacity building. Sustainable future cities should be places where all residents through inclusive and equitable opportunities feel satisfied with their level of well-being.
To achieve this it is crucial to integrate the three dimensions of sustainability such as, social development, economic development and environmental management –based on the foundation of urban governance. The economic system should facilitate the creation of decent jobs. Social system should provide services that fulfill basic human needs such as access to safe water supply and sanitation, health and education. In addition, the social system should ensure peoples prosperity and security, and should also offer ample opportunities for every citizen to participate in society.
The environmental management system should provide clean air and water to all. It should also provide sufficient amenities and leisure opportunities so that people can enjoy a good quality of life. To achieve sustainable urban development, the Development Plans/Master Plans as well as Zonal Plans and Local Area Plans should be made and updated regularly. Master plan for the towns is essential for the preparation and monitoring the land use control. Comprehensive Development Plan is also required for town planning and to provide basic infrastructure to people. The role of the town planner is to create appropriate and sustainable living environments. Regional planning and growth management planning are planning approaches that help communities to accommodate future growth while using their resources effectively. To manage the transformation of Odisha’s cities and towns and effectively manage new growth, it requires well-organized planning procedure and effective legislation. Besides good planning and design decisions require appropriate infrastructure technology and the institutional capacity to enforce decisions.