Center sets up a panel of experts to train urban planners | Latest India News
New Delhi: The Center formed an eight-member expert committee to prepare a training strategy for planners working with state governments and local bodies on emerging concepts.
As part of the town planning reforms announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in this year’s budget, the ministry aims to train 5,000 town planners over the next five years, the official said.
The committee, which was set up last month by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), is led by PSN Rao, director of the School of Urban Planning and Architecture (SPA). The first meeting took place on April 28.
According to a senior ministry official, the ministry has decided to plan two capacity building programs, a five-day course and a month-long session, to train urban planners in “emerging innovative concepts of urban planning”.
Committee members include Sanjay Gupta (Professor of Transport Planning at SPA Delhi), N Sridharan (Director of SPA Bhopal), Saswat Bandhyopadhyay (Professor at CEPT, Ahmedabad), OP Agarwal (CEO WRI India), Subrata Chattopadhyay (IIT Kharagpur ), Shreya Gadepalli (transport expert at the Institute of Urban Works) and R Sriniwas (planner and town planner at the Urban and Rural Planning Organization).
“The aim is to fill capacity building gaps and educate planners, especially in smaller cities, about new planning schemes and tools that they can use based on local conditions and requirements. .,” Sriniwas said.
A senior MoHUA official who declined to be named said, “The expert committee will first assess the training needs of planners in local agencies, urban development authorities and state governments. The committee is due to submit its recommendations by July to the ministry suggesting a roadmap for building the capacity of around 5,000 planners over the next five years.
The main areas of intervention of the training program will be the implementation of urban plans, the improvement of existing areas through the local plan, the promotion of transit-oriented development, including the conservation of heritage in local planning; among others.
A second senior ministry official said the focus will also be on modernizing building regulations and overhauling zoning regulations to promote the planned development. With the Center focusing on the rejuvenation of water bodies and green spaces as part of the Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation (AMRUT 2.0), state governments are working to integrate blue and green infrastructure. “The training program will also focus on this aspect and educate planners on emerging trends,” the official said.
Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) are another planning tool that can help cities create space for critical infrastructure in congested areas. It worked well in foreign cities such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.
In recent years, cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad have introduced TDR for heritage conservation, providing critical infrastructure in densely populated areas, slum redevelopment etc. In September 2020, NITI Aayog published guidelines for the implementation of TDR. .
The panel will also identify institutions that have an impact on subject-specific training for planners.
Planner Sabyasachi Das, former Planning Commissioner (Head) of the Delhi Development Authority, said: “It is good that the government is finally thinking about building the capacity of planners. But these short courses wouldn’t help much; these people also need adequate training in the use of these new planning tools. Planners should also be encouraged to use these new planning approaches to solve local problems.