Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The present-day development of cities is such that there is no provision of footpaths or tracks for cyclists because planners never thought of undertaking a survey about the number of people using the road for walking or cycling, Dunu Roy, a social scientist and a political ecologist, said.
Roy was delivering the eighth Mahesh Buch Memorial Lecture on ‘Trajectory of Urban Planning’ in the city on Thursday.
He pointed out that even a person driving a car has to walk, either going up to the car or after parking his or her vehicle at the destination.
Roy pointed out that the settlement of Bhopal in 1955 covered only a small portion towards the easternmost part of Upper Lake and later started moving southwards. During 1974–75, Buch played a key role in the drafting of the first development plan for the city. Buch raised the question of whether the city expansion should be at the cost of agricultural land. The concept was that the agricultural land gives renewable income year after year, whereas the city land gives no return after development.
He said that while the 74th constitutional amendment empowers the local bodies to develop city plans, it has not been implemented so far since the urban local bodies have no expertise in this.
The programme was organised by the National Centre for Human Settlements and Environment (NCHSE), Friends of Environment and Jagran Lakecity University. It was attended by about 300 people, including citizens of various walks of life and students of various institutions, including Jagran Lakecity University.