City’s dilemma: To change or stay faithful to founder’s vision
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As the city is set to mark the 125 th birth anniversary of its creator Le Corbusier, it is at a crossroads, and the path it embarks on will decide whether it continues following the ideals that he set or take a different path. Torn between the changing needs of the people and the demands to retain the original character that the city is known for, the planners are facing several dilemmas.
The city that was designed for holding 5 lakh people is now bursting at its seams. It is presently holding double that population and also managing the floating population from the neighbouring towns, and this floating population is fast growing. The growth is unlikely to abate any time soon.
Increasingly, problems such as those of traffic congestion, lack of availability of land and the infrastructure that is crumbling under the pressure of the increasing population are causing problems to its existing residents.
There are constant debates witnessed on whether high rises should be allowed, what should be assigned 'heritage' status and whether there is a need to change the existing bylaws to suit the growing needs. While these issues have been discussed for the past several years, there seem to be no clear answers. The Master Plan being prepared for the city is aiming to prepare a blue print for the coming years.
Architect S D Sharma, who was part of the team that designed the city and is now member of the Master Plan committee, says, "The values on which the city was based need to be retained. Growth should take place keeping in mind the available infrastructure. The quality of life that was promised by the planners of the city should be maintained. For progress, Industrial Area could be augmented, IT Park could be developed. However the holding capacity of the city should always be kept in mind."
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