Architect Hafeez Contractor: Patna has the potential to be a beautiful city

in Vihara

New city to reclaim old - PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI IN PATNA
Having officially stepped on the road to Bihar’s development, architect Hafeez Contractor feels Patna can join the league of the most beautiful cities across the globe through meticulous planning.Rating the Bihar capital as a tier-III city in the country at present with “poor” development, architect Hafeez Contractor sketched a bright future for the riverside city with a meticulous planning mantra.

“I will rate Patna as a tier-III city of India, with comparatively poor development. But with the enormous potential, including its riverside location, clearly identified existing urban areas and abundant water resources, Patna can sure join the league of the most beautiful cities across the globe, if meticulously planned steps are undertaken,” said Contractor.

Criss-crossing the city streets while visiting his project sites at Bahadurpur and near Saguna More on Thursday, Contractor felt the need of an immediate solution to the garbage menace.

He said: “There seems to be a big problem in sanitation, including sewage and drainage, as well as garbage management. Many drains along the roadside were open. I could also see garbage heaped on roads at several places. The city needs to get rid of such sanitation problems prior to expansion of its infrastructure. Clean city is the first requirement of citizens.”

The 61-year-old legendary architect, who has set landmarks across all spheres of real estate, ranging from residential townships to commercial projects in five countries, told The Telegraph that Patna needs a new city like most other towns in the country.

Negating the idea of satellite townships, he said the outer periphery of the city should be regenerated as high population density area along with green areas.

“A new city must be created for Patna. But considering the financial status of the masses here and the constraint in mobility, satellite townships would not be a feasible solution. Thus, the new city should be developed by regenerating the outer periphery of the city.”

He said: “The existing urban areas of the Patna have grown in a semi-circular shape with river Ganga as its base. I suggest that the farm area along the southern periphery of the city should be developed as the new city. This new city should be spread on an area measuring not more than 8 to 10sqkm with new infrastructure, mass transit system, new roads and even new taxation norms to sustain the revenue requirements. First, a road-cum-urban rail corridor resembling the same semi-circular shape of the existing urban areas of the city should be developed a few kilometres beyond the periphery of the current city. This road and rail corridor should connect to a four-lane expressway along the riverbanks of Ganga on the northern side of the present city. Also, around four to five main wide roads (alike Bailey Road) should be developed. They will connect the new city with the existing urban areas of Patna and the expressway along the Ganga.”

Contractor suggested the new city area should be used as high population density area. “As the new city would be developed on farmlands, ample green areas should be preserved here to provide the oxygen buffer to both the existing and the new city. The new city should be developed as a high population density area with the focus on shifting majority of the population load of the existing city there.”

Regeneration of the eastern periphery as a new city apart, Contractor suggested development of high-income group residential societies on the other side of river Ganga (Hajipur and Sonepur), where the two Ganga bridges (Gandhi Setu and the upcoming rail-cum-road bridge) culminate.

“Apart from Gandhi Setu, I have heard about a new Ganga rail-cum-road bridge connecting north-western corner of Patna with Sonepur. I suggest developing two large-scale high-income group residential societies at the other side of the Ganga, where both these bridges culminate. Those areas would observe development after the new bridge becomes operational and the riverside atmosphere would also attract people there,” said Contractor.

“It is only after the development of the new city and high-income group riverside residential societies that the regeneration of the existing urban areas can take place. Regeneration of the city does not necessarily mean reclamation of old structures and infrastructure. The heritage structures and the significant bylanes can definitely be preserved while reclaiming the rest of the city. In order to sustain the burgeoning housing requirement amid land scarcity, redevelopment in housing sector is the need of the hour. This redevelopment can be done by expansion of the existing buildings horizontally as well as vertically,” Contractor said.


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