Urban Sprawl |
Fringe Area Development |
Urban Agglomeration |
Emerging Technologies |
Urban governance through people’s participation and micro planning
with the use of Geographical Information System by Kolkata metropolitan development authority
Suchandra Choudhury, Sr. Tech.Assistant, CIIT, KMDA
Sr. Geophysicist,Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, GOWB
Since ages the humanity is trying to develop its surrounding by a most suitable & adoptable way required for its community and thereby using almost all-possible information available to them. But sometimes there is a definite intervention of number of external agencies, which forces a deviation from the planned development. Result of such deviation in disastrous. In the developing countries like India there can be innumerous examples of such deviation and a catastrophic result in its development scenario. Aphorism is the name of the game, which has more or less ruined the planned development in urban area, especially in Residential, Commercial and Industrial sectors. A plan without a resource evaluation and execution of such plan without assessing the socio-economic parameters of the community had placed the entire development procedure in a point of no return. Incidentally today's Regional or Micro planner has to start thinking and executing his plan from this level. In doing so, the prime requirement is a Statutory and Legal Authority of Planning and then the Resource Base of Information of its development factors. This information system will be the base on which the planning will be pillared. Numbers of conventional technologies are readily available, but the present system of adopting Geographic Information System has made the task simpler and realistic. This system combines the location details of any elements with the resource available within such element. More information and more synthesis make the planning more dynamic. An updateable visual interactive approach is the real advantage of a Geographic Information System.
Analyzing the entire system from a planning angle, the involvement of city managers become more essential for its sustainability. A language commonly spoken and used by them during their planning procedure should form the base for their involvement. Thereby it may be required for a transfer of technology from Corporate
Sector to Development Sector in Planning and make the system acceptable to all. A KMDA approach and experiences may be a good example for such adoption when both the external agencies and corporate house come closer to operate with local level planning through a legally equipped Development Authority like KMDA. Being more specific in certain basic areas of development like Health, Education & Infrastructure to Conservation of Heritage and Environment, this can play a major role in the process of progressive & sustainable development of the entire community
The State of West Bengal is one of the highly urban states of India with 27.5% of total population residing in various urban areas in 2001. By this index of urbanisation of West Bengal position is 6th among the industrially advanced State of India. Rate of growth of urban population between 1991-2001 has been 20.2%, the total urban population registering an increase from 18.62 millions in 1991 to 22.5 million in 200. One of the unique features of urbanization in the state has been that of high urban residential density. The percentage of urban population living in Class-I town of West Bengal each that of 1 lack and above was 81.7% in 1991 as against 65.2% for India. In terms of absolute population, West Bengal occupies the 4th position next to U.P, Maharastra and Tamil Nadu accordingly to 2001.
Being ceased of problems and challenges, the State Govt. was initiated a number of policy intervention and design a number of urban development strategies. The state Govt. had taken a conscious policy decision of dispersing all urban growth across the state through a number of strategies and reforms both within and outside the domain of urban development. The State Govt. has also assigned the priority to develop of small and medium towns all over the state. As a matter of policy the State Govt. introduced the decentralization paradigm of planning and development both rural and urban areas. With a view to making the same operational, the state Govt. introduces decentralization of democratic governance in all units of rural and urban local self Governments. A number of legislative and institutional reforms have been carried out by the State Govt. to support and sustain the paradigm of decentralization. The State Govt. realizes that mere devolution powers and functions to the urban local bodies without corresponding up gradation of capacities of Urban Local Bodies would be self defeating. In this context, the Ministry of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs of Govt of West Bengal has taken a conscious decision of extending e-Governance to the level of Urban Local Bodies. This would not only provide and transparent administration and management, but also help of much improved planning and design of all desired intervention. It has been decided that Geographical Information System would be installed across all Urban Local Bodies. The pilot GIS effort in a few municipal bodies has yielded interesting useful results. The use of Urban GIS of Urban West Bengal is just about two years old. Nevertheless the independence has matured fast and the technology has gain a unique design of being used more for a social purpose than for the corporate ends. The use of GIS in Urban West Bengal has
aimed at helping decentralization Planning of ULBs’ to adjustment of self sufficiency in municipalities with socio-economic development as a final gain. It has also achieved in reinforcing of participatory approach in the entire functioning of Municipal administration. This is quite distinct from what GIS has been doing earlier in National and International level. The application of GIS with people’s participation in every level of the development has not only help the state to keep ahead with the changing times , but has become a handling tools in the context of recent 74th Amendment in the Indian Constitution. Earlier instead of a theoretical three tier Govt. the Municipal Governance actually was a selecting extension of 2nd tier of the State Govt. As a matter of fact throughout the country including West Bengal Municipalities always had to depend on the State Govt. for their existence at the base. The constitution has given the people to power and the authority to implement their own plan independently. The GIS technology has provided the local municipality the confidence and the ability to execute the powers acquired from the 74th Amendments. So long the adequate information, the administration, in spite of its uniqueness, could not precede much.