The draft Master Plan or Development Plan (as they are termed in Maharashtra) for Pune, has been published for suggestions and objections from the public by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The DP is one of the most powerful and important legislations for a city, defining its land use and building control regulations. Traffic and transportation is one of the most critical aspects of any development plan. The fundamental requirement for solving transport problems and
ensuringaccessibility for all in a sustainable manner is to integrate transport and land use plans. This is emphasized in the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) which sets forth the principles that cities must adopt. However, the Pune draft DP, 2013 falls woefully short of such goals. Here are some reasons why.
Not in sync with Comprehensive Mobility Plan
Pune has prepared a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) until 2031, in accordance with the NUTP. The CMP incorporates a number of proposals such as Metro rail and BRT, and sets a target for various aspects of transport, including the desired modal share.. The DP and the CMP should complement one another and help to achieve the overall objective of increasing the share of Public Transit and Non Motorized Transport while decreasing the modal share of personal vehicles. No such integration of these two plans was attempted.
The draft DP proposes a number of transportation projects that are not in the CMP, not justified on the basis of any traffic study, and which primarily cater to the needs of personal motorized vehicles:
- Proposal for 30 flyovers, though the CMP advises against flyovers as a sustainable solution
- Proposal for 11 foot over bridges (FoBs) and 30 pedestrian subways – Grade separated pedestrian crossings are not advisable as they are generally not used by pedestrians, who prefer at-grade crossing. They are not disabled-friendly, which is required as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.
- New roads, road widening and tunnels are proposed in an ad hoc and piecemeal manner, without studies or modelling. Most are intended to meet an assumed increase in vehicular traffic which contradicts the emphasis on mass transit (BRT, Metro, etc).
- Roads proposed in the river bed and on hill slopes will have a severe impact on the environment and lead to greater noise, air and water pollution. Recently the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruled that roads are not permissible inside the flood lines of a river.
Not Transit Oriented
A scenario of 4 FSI along the Metro corridors, 500 meters on either side has been proposed.
The zones identified for 4 FSI are already extremely dense. The impact of allowing 4 FSI in the city has not been estimated in terms of the infrastructure requirement, open spaces, amenities etc. The capacity of the city to provide this infrastructure is questionable.
Densification of the Metro corridor must be part of a comprehensive strategy called Transport Oriented Development (TOD). TOD requires that most people live and work in the transit zones, rely on walk, cycle and PT modes for mobility and there is a drastic reduction in personal vehicle use and dependency. Since people access Metro stations and not the corridor itself, TOD policies must be centered on stations. Principles of TOD must include, inter alia:
- Analysis of accessibility to stations with 500 m walk/cycle paths to the station and integration of feeder modes.
- Strong restraints on use of personal motorized vehicles such as Reduction of parking within the TOD zone
- De-densification outside the TOD zone
- Mixed land use in the TOD zone
There is no TOD policy in Pune’s draft Development Plan. Such a policy must be prepared before any provisions for so-called densification are attempted. Delhi has such as TOD policy (see http://bit.ly/Delhi-TOD)
In the draft DP, the minimum parking norms are proposed to be increased and there are incentives to build more parking for the public. These will not only encourage but even force developers to create more parking, even in congested areas. Instead of parking being used as a Transport Demand Management (TDM) tool, it is being subsidized and will thus spur even more use of personal motorized vehicles.
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