Growth goes west, south & green Master plan to add more areas

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  • Published 13.02.14

The draft master plan is ready to add new areas on west and south in a scientific way to the ever-expanding city.

The state planning and development board on Wednesday has given its nod for developing the state capital as a metropolitan region.

The long-pending issue of a hassle-free site for development of a new airport also seems to have been resolved with the approval of the draft master plan.

The city would now get its new airport near Punpun, around 12km south of Gandhi Maidan, as suggested by the new master plan. An airport city would also be developed at the location.

The initial draft of the master plan had suggested developing the new airport in Sonepur near the northern tip of Digha-Sonepur road-cum-road bridge. However, the state government was of the view that the Sonepur location of the airport could lead to traffic pressure on the bridges — Mahatma Gandhi Setu and a proposed six-lane suspended cable bridge between Kachchi Dargah at Patna City and Bidupur at Vaishali.

Against the existing city area in the capital spread over around 250sqkm, the proposed master plan envisages the Patna metropolitan region to be spread over total area of around 1,150sqkm. The urban area would spread over 60 per cent of the notified planning area and the rest 40 per cent would be left as green or open space.

The initial draft of the master plan had talked about including Sonepur and Hajipur as well in the proposed Patna metropolitan region but the state government asked Centre for Environment Planning and Technology University, Ahmedabad, (CEPT) to exclude them and make separate master plan for those towns. Sources claimed that the separate plan for the two towns is also ready with CEPT.

Provisions have also been made in the proposed master plan for development of five satellite townships, including Bihta and Naubatpur, around the proposed metropolitan region. The satellite townships are aimed to sustain the rapid rate of urbanisation and population growth during the plan period of next 20 years.

Though the master plan does not talk much about the development in the existing city area but CEPT, in the meeting held on Wednesday, suggested a separate resettlement plan for its development. Sources claimed that much of the resettlement could be done through widening of roads.

The approval on the proposed master plan was given today by the planning and development board headed by development commissioner Alok Kumar Sinha after a presentation on the same made by Utpal Sharma, the CEPT dean.

About the approval, S. Siddharth, secretary, urban development and housing department, said: “The board has given the approval on the draft of the master plan for Patna. Like the proposed building bye-laws, the master plan would also be put in the public domain for seeking residents’ feedback before its final implementation.”

Master plan is a tool to plan and regulate urban growth in and around a city over a given period of time. It is after 33 years that the city would be getting its master plan, which is a vision document for its future development.

The last master plan for Patna (1961-1981) had expired 33 years ago and since then there was no guideline to regulate the urban growth. According to sources, the urban development and housing department in February 2011 entrusted the task of making survey and providing technical assistance for preparation of the draft master plan for Patna to CEPT.

The master plan divides the proposed Patna metropolitan region into seven zones — residential, commercial, mixed land use, industrial, public-semi-public uses, urban agriculture and no-development.

Much of such provisions would be implemented with the support of the much-touted Bihar Municipal Building Bye-laws. The proposed Bihar Municipal Building Bye-Laws & Building Code is aimed at regulating building construction and development activities in terms of land use, coverage (land used for construction), floor area ratio (FAR), open space, height, number of storeys and parking standards among others.