GUWAHATI, Oct 27 - The Central government is yet to state in an articulated manner the definition of its Smart City concept. The idea it is trying to provide on the smart city concept in its website is highly confusing. It seems that the Central government has made an inept attempt at copying the American Planning Association in this regard, said Florida-based noted architect and town planner Amiya Kumar Das.
Das also suggested measures like amending the Constitution, or, to evolve some legal measures for overcoming the legal impediments in executing urban renewal plans in the country.
Das, now 76, who worked with the Florida State Government�s Urban Planning Office for over 30 years, is at present in the city. He said, while talking to this correspondent, if the Central government wants to improve the entire infrastructure of a city, including its roads, water supply schemes etc., it will be nothing less than an urban renewal project.
But, urban renewal is a very complex procedure and India does not have any planning legislation for the purpose. Therefore, it seems to be impossible to implement any urban renewal project in this country, he maintained.
If the Central government is sincere enough to go for such renewal projects, it should immediately go for adopting a legislation for the purpose.
Speaking on the existing town and country planning legislation of the country, he said that this was borrowed from the 1932 British Town and Country Planning Act. Since then, the planning concept and its evolution have undergone amazing changes in other parts of the globe, while India is still stranded in the 1930s in this regard.
What seems to be more awkward is the fact that even the present-day town planners of India are not keeping track with the modern developments in this field.
Moreover, the Constitution of India has authorised only the State and the local-self governments to make town planning laws. But the local-self governments do not have the expertise to prepare a good law and enforce it.
A uniform law for town planning for the entire country would have been more useful. But the Central government does not have the authority to introduce such a law because of constitutional provisions.
Therefore, either the Constitution of the country should be amended, or, some legal devices should be found out to resolve this issue, said the noted town planner.