Archana Chaudhary,joint honorary secretary of Chandigarh Punjab Chapter of Indian Institute of Architects said,You would be surprised to know that in Chandigarh and Punjab,for a population of around 2.78 crore,there are only 150 town planners. This means for every 1.85 lakh people,there is one town planner.
Talking about Chandigarh,according to the study conducted by her,it was further revealed that in the city alone,if we calculate for a population of 12 lakh (one town planner for a population of 10,000),we need around 120 town planners. While,at present,there are only five town planners in the Chandigarh Administration.
When Chandigarh was being planned by Capitol Project Team under the leadership of Le Corbusier,a large team of architects and town planners were working under him. The team comprised around 100-120 architects and town planners,whereas,today we have only five when the development is going on at such a pace, Chaudhary revealed.
Further explaining the statistics,she added that for re-planning an area of 114 square metres in Chandigarh plus an area of about 43 square metres (the share of Chandigarhs periphery),i.e. for a 157 square metre area,only five town planners and fifteen architects are there in the Department of Urban Planning,Chandigarh. Whereas,the number should be more as the population of Chandigarh has increased manifold.
In the larger context,the study revealed that,for a country of 300 million urban residents there is only one planner for every 1 lakh people. While the county has just eleven urban planning programmes,producing approximately 400 urban and regional planning graduates a year.
Even if we aimed lower,we need a minimum ratio of at least 1 planner for 10,000 urban residents. This means 30,000 planners for the countrys current level of urbanisation – a ten-fold increase to our current numbers in government alone.
Suggesting a solution for this,it has been recommended that the academic institutions need to step up their output by at least similar multiples – to about 4,000 planners a year. Also,other institutions like engineering colleges could be given incentives to offer graduate programmes and shorter diploma courses. Also,the institutes should focus on improving upon the quality of programmes offered by them.