Bhubaneswar: To end problems related to roads, drains and access to public transport, the development authority of the Naveen Patnaik government has decided to take a leaf out of the Gujarat book of urban development.
The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) will be implementing the Gujarat model of town planning over 749 acres on the city outskirts.
Unveiling the scheme on Monday, the BDA officials promised all urban infrastructure such as roads, health care facilities, schools, police stations, shopping centres and public transport in the town planning area.
Notified on March 26, the project will shortly be published in the gazette and then notifications in newspapers will be issued inviting suggestions from the public. The process has to be completed in two years.
Vice-chairman of the BDA Krishan Kumar said: "Unplanned growth over a period of time has seen construction of houses before the development of roads, sewerage, public transport facilities and other utility services. Through the town planning scheme now, we will ensure that infrastructure comes first. This will provide for organised urban growth."
Speaking on the fate of the south city project that was proposed by the BDA five years ago, Kumar said: "Acquiring land has become extremely difficult in the traditional process. Now, the old project will be a part the town planning scheme for smarter and quicker development. The proposed ring road development will also be faster under the scheme."
The 749 acres with serviced land prior to development will be equal to almost four existing units of the old Bhubaneswar planned area. "The entire area under the town planning scheme will be self-sustaining in nature. The 60-metre ring road will pass through the town planning area," the BDA vice-chairman said.
The scheme development process will be executed by the BDA in Paikarapur, Sijuput, Naragoda and Sahajpur through Canada-based urban planning major Stantec, which has so far developed at least 250 such projects in Gujarat, Maharashtra and abroad.
"The town planning scheme is also popularly known as land pooling scheme in Gujarat as it involves land development by organising the existing land in a manner where all plots get access to the road network. For this, land owners have to sacrifice a portion of their land but ultimately when they get back the developed land, the market price is nearly 10 times higher than the prevailing benchmark price," Stantec planning director Manish Shah told The Telegraph.
Shah, who was in Bhubaneswar today, said: "In the town planning scheme, land owners have to sacrifice land for the development of infrastructure, but the development authority on the other hand, gets funds to develop the infrastructure network by selling some portion of the pooled land. In this process, neither the land owner nor the authority will have to be involved in any monetary transaction except for some procedural expenses for the BDA."
BDA planning member (in-charge) Sudhir Mohanty said: "In the first place, people have to understand this that the land rate in a particular urban locality is higher when it is connected to roads. But in the town planning scheme, all the plots are connected to main or branch roads."
On Monday, BDA authorities sensitised local officials and office-bearers of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association India (Odisha), Real Estate Developers Association, National Real Estate Development Council and Association for Odisha Real-estate Developers on the new scheme's introduction. Tomorrow, a stakeholders' meeting will be organised at the special circuit house in the city, in association with the Khurda district administration.
Parthasarathi Das, a college teacher who has purchased a house near the town planning scheme area, said: "When I had chosen the locality, I did not have any idea regarding its future. Now it appears that my investment is going to pay off."