There is a dearth of town planners in government development agencies across the country,according to Institute of Town Planners,India (ITPI). The institute says that almost 7,000 posts of town planners are lying vacant in the country since new town and country planning schools are not being opened in spite of growing urbanisation.
Officials said the situation could worsen in states like Uttar Pradesh in the days ahead,because the state does not have even a single school of town planning.
In its first conference in north zone on Sunday,ITPI recommended the government to encourage both public and private sectors to open town planning schools.
Dr Subodh Shankar,professor and head of Department of Architecture,Integral University,Lucknow,said there are eight colleges of architecture,including one of state government,in the state but not a single institute of town and country planning.
Cities are called engines of economic growth, he said. If cities were not developed in a planned way,if will affect economic growth.
The Chairman of ITPI and ex-chief town planner of the Government of India,D S Meshram said: There are 3,300 town planners working in all 5,600 towns in country. Thus there is not even one town planner for each town.
Meshram said in a recent assessment by the Centre,it was found that a maximum of 200 town planners the country produces every year.
He said the Centre had asked the ITPI for suggestions and it had recommended the opening of one school each in the north,south,east and the west zones to begin with. But the government has approved of only two schools,one in Vijaywada and another in Bhopal.
If town planning schools were opened in a state like UP,local youths will be trained and their talent can be used for the development of the state and they will be better aware of the climatic,geographical,traffic conditions and the needs of people here, Shankar said.
The ITPI has also recommended that an integrated planning course be formulated after the 10+2 level and that the Bachelor in Planning degree be made eligible for employment in state town planning departments.