Green spaces in city should be inviolable,stresses Master Planhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/green-spaces-in-city-should-be-inviolable-stresses-master-plan/

Green spaces in city should be inviolable,stresses Master Plan

Highlights that average green space available in 2001 was 17 sqm/person,but it would be down to 10.7 sqm/person in 2031

Encroachments of open spaces by vehicles for parking and unauthorised construction are some of the hindrances being faced in the city in maintaining the green cover. However,the Draft Master Plan proposes some measures to preserve the green cover that is left in the city,which has an increasing population and faces an acute need for further development.

As per the Master Plan,there are a number of problems that are being encountered in preserving the green spaces or the open spaces. It is stated that building byelaws,zoning regulations and boundary wall stipulations should be synchronised and effectively implemented to ensure that encroachment by way of unauthorised projections,courtyards,opening of doors,and putting up fencing do not blemish the quality and nature of open spaces.

The average green space available in 2001 was 17 square metre per person. It has been projected that this would reduce to 10.7 sqm/person in 2031.

Another problem is that due to tremendous rise in the ownership of cars and shift from plotted development to group housing and multiple families inhabiting one plot,a large number of open spaces between clusters have been encroached upon for parking of cars. The city has one of the highest per capita number of vehicles. It is common to find cars parked around cars. For this purpose,at some places the size of the parks was reduced and paver blocks installed around these.

The Master Plan proposes that the open or green spaces in the city should be recognised as inviolable open spaces to prevent them from being diverted to other land uses. A system of pedestrian greenways and nature walking systems would be developed which would link existing and future open spaces,parks and forest areas.

Twelve longitudinal green corridors have been proposed connecting the greens of the city in the north-south direction which will offer diverse experiences as one moves across them. While some will cut across the sectoral grid of the city connecting sector-level greens,eg Shanti Path with Rose Garden and Leisure Valley,others will move at the city fringe exposing unknown natural areas.

The zoning plans of sectors would be rectified so that no other land use except those associated with the parks come up in the open spaces. It is proposed that the area along both sides of the railway line,wherever it cuts across the city plan,will have thick plantation.

During the inception of the city,plantation of trees was done after recommendations of a Landscape Advisory Committee. However,during the development of phases two and three of the city,these recommendations were not followed. It is proposed that the tree heritage would be preserved and the plantation done in future should be systematic.

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The Master Plan has also highlighted the need for preserving the greenbelts like the Leisure Valley,Rose Garden and Botanical Garden. It is further recommended that a string of small parks at the sub-sector level can be connected by paths to create longer tracks which can create a promenade for walks for sector residents.