AS the Pune Municipal Corporation hopes to take a “leap” in improving its civic infrastructure with the implementation of smart city project, the ground reality presents a grim picture of the actual work done by the civic administration, thereby putting a big question mark over the way it goes about its job.
Pending approval of Development Plan (DP)
There are two development plans (DP) for the city — one catering to old parts of city and the second to the 23 merged villages. The DP gives direction to further development in the city with special focus on civic amenities to meet the city’s demand in 20 years. The lack of political consensus had led to delay in finalising the DP. At present, the DP is pending with the state government for final approval.
Poor implementation of DP
The DP draft has to be implemented by the civic administration to ensure the proper growth of the city and cater to the needs of the people. Its implementation has been very poor as the PMC could implement only 22 per cent of the existing plan in 20 years. PMC in its existing DP in 1987 had proposed a total of 609 reservations of land for public purpose of which 22 were deleted during the 20 years of its implementation. PMC could develop only 134 reservations while 453 reservations remain undeveloped.
Increasing urban population
PMC HAD predicted that the population of city will go up from 37 lakh in 2012 to 57 lakh in 2027. However, it had failed to be prepared for the massive growth and the infrastructure needs that come with it. The housing study as part of DP preparation revealed that city requires 6.58 lakh tenements to meet the demand of increasing population. The economically-weaker section has shown maximum demand for houses — 2.9 lakh followed by middle-income group with 1.72 lakh, lower-income group with 1.32 lakh and 63,000 for high-income group category citizens.
Depleting green cover
PMC has proposed 1.23 per cent for agriculture use as against 5.52 per cent that exists now. It kept 8.38 per cent land for forest and hills in the existing DP which will now be 7.85 per cent as per the draft DP. The civic body has been developing gardens across the city. PMC has developed 79 gardens so far and there are more planned. However, to retain the green cover, there is need to acquire the hills of the city and ensure there are no illegal constructions or encroachments take place.
PMC has roads of total length of 650 km. The civic body undertook road widening of city roads under the JNNURM but its efforts have been in vain. There is no secure and safe passage for non-motorised transport.
The drainage capacity is 1,200 MLD and the PMC is unable to treat entire sewage generated in the city leading to its release into the river bodies. The shortage of storm water drainage has led to flooding in parts of city during monsoon.