Eco Centric Planning and development for Eco-system Restoration

( 5254 बार पढ़ी गयी)
Published on : 10 Jun, 21 08:06

- Dr Anil Mehta

Eco Centric Planning and development for Eco-system Restoration

The theme for year 2021 Environment Day is “ Eco System Restoration”. This day is also a launch for UN decade (2021 – 2030 ) on Ecosystem Restoration. The theme is most relevant for Udaipur as it would build wider understanding; and initiate actions on eco system regenerat ion and restoration of Udaipur . The major threats to natural ecosystem of cities like Udaipur is poor and myopic urban planning. The environmental problems are created and accelerated because of land use changes of lakes , hills; and urban, peri urban green pockets. Udaipur needs eco centric urban planning in order to restore the natural and healthy eco system comprised mainly of hills, lakes and Ahar river. Safe drinking water and clean air are basic human rights for Udaipur citizens and prerequisite for healthy life. The process of haphazard urbanization has resulted in not just the environmental degradation of useful flora and fauna of Udaipur; but has contaminate the water quality ; and reduced to large extent the oxygen giving green patches. The contamination from the factories and household ef f luents have increased organic and nutrient loading in our ecosystem. The peripheral Udaipur is becoming the victim of severe environmental degradat ion . Udaipur is becoming the major spot for economic activities including the tourist industry. But, in order to expand economic activities ; and to accommodate the increasing population we are destroying the ecology and environment of our peripheral villages i.e peri urban area of Udaipur . Unfortunately, there has been very limited attention given to the peri-urban areas: an area contiguous to the perceived ‘urban islands’ primarily considered as source for resources and sink for urban wastes. Peri urban areas display characteristics of both urban and rural areas and it is vital to understand and plan for their coordinated development, based on their functions and structures. These areas provide important services, viz. food, water, and retreat from urban heat, etc., to the adjacent Udaipur . Notwithstanding their tremendous importance, they are scourged with industrial pollution, lack of dedicated policy focus and scientific regulations for planned growth. it is, therefore, of paramount importance to recognize the role of peri-urban ecosystems in: adapting to climate change and making urban centers resilient; promoting water and food security; and management of waste for promoting circular economy. There is great need to understand that urbanization as a process never confines within the limits of its municipal boundaries but implicates wider regions and hinterlands for producing conditions of urban living. Considering the contemporary pace of urbanization, areas presently marked as peri-urban zones are destined to get devoured by the city within its municipal limits and surrounding green zone, in turn, will begin to display hybrid ruralurban character. This is a dynamic process which decision makers need to be cognizant of while crafting policies and plans for balanced and comprehensive development. An integrated approach will also promote economic optimization by closing the loop of resource consumpt i o n a n d wa s te disposal/reuse. The development in Udaipur ; and its peri urban areas is affecting the Ahar river too. The river is primarily playing a function of pollution sink. The river is more appropriately characterized by its entire catchment area, rather than any administrative boundaries. So for the restoration of 23 kilometer polluted stretch of Ahar , the planners should outline a broad strategy for revitalizing the entire catchment basin of the river and its tributaries. The city planning needs to take cognizance of the Ahar river and its interaction with the Udaipur traditions and culture. It is also pertinent to mention here that any river flowing through a city cannot be looked in isolation, without its contextual setting and its linkages the urban area. The city-river connect is a very strong relationship build across generations, and cannot be neglected while dealing with any form of city planning, infrastructure development or management related to the area. In recent past, Udaipur has seen flattening of many hills . There are plan to construct roads through the lakes. The shorelines of the lakes are in great threat because of development of roads on the bed of the lakes and thereby paving the way for commercial development along the altered lake boundaries. The process of such deteriorations of ecosystem components of Udaipur can only be reversed if the city planning is green and blue centric.

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