Fence open spaces below bridges, says Ramchandra Gohad, Pune’s first town planner

Ramchandra Gohad is the city’s first town planner who envisaged the first development plan of Pune in the 1980s. Gohad has travelled the globe understanding the creation of urban zones that enhance a city’s visual and existential appeal, without compromising on efficeny. Gohad is not impressed with the PMC’s handling of spaces under flyovers. He tells Parth Welankar why

Spaces beneath flyovers are allegedly being used for illegal activities. How does a town planner, or in the case, the PMC, work to ensure this doesn’t happen?

PMC must take help from all departments and put a permanent stop to such activities. However, this is a temporary solution to the problem. With the absence of police officials, people will come bak under flyovers and continue what they had been doing there.What is needed is a united, multi-department effort.

Do you believe corporate sponsorship is the way forward in Pune as far as “reclaiming the underbelly” of the city goes?

As an urban planner, I would first like to point out a completely wrong policy by the PMC as far as developing spaces beneath flyovers is concerned. They (PMC) should not depend on private investments and instead should undertake such developments for the betterment of the city themselves. PMC has to just replicate the model at Warje where they developed a beautiful garden.

As an urban planner, you have travelled the world. What are the lessons PMC can learn from other countries?

I have traveled to many foreign countries where respective governments with their proper planning have resolved such issues. PMC should build a wall fencing these open spaces beneath the flyovers and should restrict entry. Besides, plant trees on the premises which will add to the beautification of the city. Once the wall fencing is done, PMC should create a small playground which can be used by the schools which do not have space for such activities. These experiments have been successful in Singapore, London and Paris.

First Published:
Jun 10, 2019 14:46 IST

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