In India, cities are privy to unplanned and uncoordinated development, which has led to traffic congestion, inadequate sanitation and depleting water resources. However, a few cities in India are redrawing its master plans to make it more citizen centric. Coimbatore and Gurugram are a few of them!
Coimbatore is among India’s fast growing Tier II cities, with a population of over 1.6 million. Its vibrant manufacturing and IT industries have attracted a continuous stream of labour, and the resulting new settlements have stretched the city’s limits to 642.12 km. Coimbatore decided to develop a comprehensive master plan that integrates peripheral developments with the city core and aligns regional water and sanitation infrastructure plans with the city’s requirements. With a planning horizon of 25 years, the new GIS-based plan is for a larger area of 2,869 km with a projected population of 3 million. It adopts transit-oriented planning and mixed-use developments as a key strategy to ensure compact development. The plan, which is in its final phase of drafting, will be integrated with Coimbatore’s Smart City proposal and its draft mobility plan.
That said, located just outside New Delhi, Gurugram1 is a bustling economic powerhouse. With a population of 1.5 million, the city faces a severe shortage of public transport services. There is only one metro line linking the city to New Delhi and a light metro rail. Its handful of ageing public buses ply limited routes. As a result, traffic snarls are endemic. Gurugram’s strategy is to massively overhaul its bus transport system and expand its rail system. To ensure professional management and operation, the Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Ltd has been formed. Bus infrastructure will be ramped up, with 500 new buses to ply new routes and an addition of five bus depots. By mid-2018, 100 new buses are expected to hit the roads. Bus wait times will be shortened to 7.5 minutes to 10 minutes and commuters will soon be able to get live updates via mobile applications. Commuter surveys have been undertaken to identify service gaps and determine last mile connection needs. Once the improvements are in place, daily bus ridership is expected to be in the range of 300,000.