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Key Takeaways from each speaker
• The rapid infrastructural boom that the Hill states are currently experiencing is detrimental to the ecosystem stability. The requirement to have a balance between natural resource exploitation and conservation as Klagged as early as 2008 and echoes of the same is noted in the capacity evaluation suggestion made by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in 2023.
• It is pertinent to explore and advance resilience action via four resilience assessment pillars viz. ecological resilience, physical resilience, Kinancial resilience, and social and institutional resilience.
• Some suggestions were made that could inform the future planning regarding the hill states. It includes reviewing existing Acts about state town planning and spatial planning to relook at the building regulations; focus on protection of key ecological areas; to operationalise the real estate market around TDRs; tourism is a major pain point; having academic focus on hill sensitive planning etc.
• Frequent reference was made to the 2017 Niti Aayog report presented by the Working Group on Sustainable Development in Mountains of Indian Himalaya which talked about Kive profound thematic areas including revival of spring tourism.
• Land use and spatial planning need to be urgently advanced in mountainous areas – technology used for this and capacities of ofKicials is inadequate.
• The Parvat Manthan should start looking to review the state town planning and spatial planning acts among the Indian Himalayan region.
• Future webinar series can focus on Review of the State Town Planning/Spatial Planning Acts among the IHRs- Regional Planning Framework and Spatial Planning Scales and their Contents; Protection of Key ecological features through LDZ or NDZ; Increasing the Resilience of Infrastructure Assets ( Resilience for Infrastructure as well as Infrastructure for Resilience); IHR Sensitive Planning and design Academic Network and Training Curriculum for Inservice Professionals.
---Prof. Saswat Bandyopadyay
• Sikkim was not a part of British India, so the pre-Independence laws on town planning differs from most other areas.
• NITI Ayog report – Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India – is a diagnostic report that gives 14 recommendations, which in some combination can be taken up by any state that wishes to do so.
• Most planning and project works tend to deliver upon the symptoms rather than the cause.
• Incentivising states to follow through with the recommendations on AMRUT etc. is a good way to ensure implementation.
• “What to do” is known, the gap starts at “How to do” and “Who will do”.
• When we say urban development in India, we have to build for yesterday. We are deKicient with infrastructure, we are not building for tomorrow. Urban development departments need more than engineers and accountants – need documentation, legal and social experts also.
• Town and Country Planning acts should allow for mountain and hill contexts. They should be Klexible.
• Planners in a state need more discretionary authority!
---Mr. Dinker Gurung
• The political will and wish stands opposed to what the carrying capacity and ecology of Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) demand.
• Most planning documents discuss “resilience” and “holistic approach” but that is lacking on ground. Multisectoral stakeholder level dialogue is the key towards achieving that.
• One cannot forgo the fact that many cities in the IHR are receiving tourist 2.5 times more than they can withhold. Thus putting huge onus to the existing municipal services and infrastructure.
• All the big cities of the IHR have already shoot their respective carrying capacity. They have grown out of proportion. Need to looking into better management, local governance and also using green Kinance coupled with responsible tourism to ameliorate the deplorable conditions of the IHR.
• Questions to ponder –
(i)Are public schemes making planning more rights oriented and less responsibility conscious?
(ii) The intricate interplay between the different aspects of resilience in a community – the resilience investment, socio-cultural traits of resilient communities as opposed to stereotypical resilient communities etc
• Convergence on ground is required, each government department has its own plan. All plans need to be shared, “Who is doing What” and “With which Plan” which will be helpful for social and environment safeguard.
• Need to take a landscape approach rather than a provincial or country approach – ecology transcends boundaries.
---Dr. Rajan Kotru