Migration from the rural to urban is the reason of congestion
By Rajan Khanna
Dr PS Pasricha who retired as Director General of Maharashtra Police, is now incharge of the town planning of the holy city of Nanded Sahib; the commitment he showed while managing the law enforcement in the state, is vividly manifested when one sees his contribution in the development of the holy town. He is credited with a doctorate in the subject of traffic management. With the dual purpose of taking his inputs on the said subject and to know more about the ensuing projects in Nanded Sahib, I met him.
Assertive and articulate Dr Pasricha threw ample light on the problem of traffic management and the possible solutions to it. According to him, lot of migration from the rural to the urban areas is taking place and in the process, is adding to the existing traffic congestion in the cities. He suggested that in the rural areas a grid pattern should be formulated; for every four or five villages, an easily accessible small township having the urban amenities like those of shopping malls, entertainment centres and medical facilities, should be developed. The initiative will deter further migration to the towns and emphasise that green spaces must be introduced in the inter-city expanses. He said, there are 5,78,000 villages in our country and if some of the urban facilities are taken to the villages in a planned way, the load of population on existing urban habitats can be curtailed to a considerable extent.
He suggested further initiatives for the rural development. According to him scientific ways of cattle farming in the rural areas should be devised. The exercise will definitely result into the generation of more employment in rural sector and will discourage the younger population from migrating to towns. He insisted that attention must be paid to develop a road network in the rural areas and keeping in view the modes of transport being used in such areas, certain rules be followed by the vehicles. Bullock-carts and tractor-trolleys are rampantly used to ferry the farm-produces in rural areas. Dr Pasricha strongly recommended that in order to cut down the frequency of accidents involving such modes, retro reflectors must be fitted on them.
On the matter of streamlining the vehicular traffic in cities, he opined that the traffic is like water and tends to find its own level; if it gets compressed at one particular place, it starts spreading to the adjoining areas. No matter, what amount of fly-overs are constructed, unless, a holistic pattern to decongest the city roads is followed, the problem is going to mount with every passing day. He said very efficient and economical public transport systems have to be developed and the reliance on privately owned vehicles has to be tapered down. He said, in a country like Singapore, measures for peak hour traffic regulations have been adopted, the same can be taken into consideration in our country also. For example, he said, congestion tax on the private vehicles can be levied and the citizens should be motivated to discourage the unnecessary travel. For free pedestrian movement, he maintained that the footpaths should be kept encroachment-free.
When asked to throw some light on the developments in Nanded Sahib town – his present day assignment – the spirit of dedication with which Dr Pasricha has been rendering his services over there, reflected on his face. He said, in all the projects and constructions in the town of Nanded Sahib, one can easily discern the core theme of values of humanity abundantly present. He informed, the world class staying facilities which have been made, can accommodate 7000 yatris at a time. Gobind Bagh with an expanse of 8 acres has become the centre of attraction with laser and video controlled fountain and light and sound show based upon the theme of universal brotherhood.
Dr Pasricha told that on October 28, an air-conditioned museum – in an area of 30,000 sq ft – depicting the Sikh history, is going to be inaugurated in Nanded Sahib. He told that in the Hall of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Bhawan, 7000 devotees can sit together. He added that a Vriddhashram has also been built and shortly an eye hospital is coming up.
If one visits the town of Nanded Sahib and pays obeisance at the holy Gurudwara Shri Huzoor Sahibji, one can immediately come face to face with the spirit of spiritualism, nationalism and sacrifice which tenth Guru Shri Guru Gobind Singhji bestowed upon us.