The Financial Express

Towards creating planned villages

Towards creating planned villages

Once it was a picturesque sleepy village with the meandering paths running to the horizon. The memory is still vivid that a bird was flying across the crop fields in a winter afternoon. As far as the eyes could see, it was all green all over. The sky was touching the green on the horizon. With the passage of time the view has been lost. The widespread green is no more there. That village is no more sleepy, but bustling with activities. Houses now dot both sides of the roads. The population now has doubled or tripled. The roadsides, the crop fields, ponds, etc. have been used now to arrange additional housing facilities for them. Thus the villages of those days have lost their picturesque views, many birds have lost their nests. Indigenous fish species are also disappearing. If this continues to happen, one day there will be no village worth its name. So, the villages need to be developed in a planned way. It is heartening to note that the government is planning to build 'My Village, My Town.'

In next twenty or thirty years the villages will not be as they are now. Already one or two brick-built two-story houses have started dotting the countryside. Human habitats are now expanding horizontally which is reducing our crop land. So we need to build them vertically to save as much crop fields as we can. We should be careful so that the villages are not turned into urban jungles as has been the case in the city areas. We should be careful so that the greenery of the villages is not lost.

Another environmental issue is groundwater. Almost every household in the villages has a tube-well.

They are pumping groundwater. They are using it as drinking water. They are also using it for the irrigation purpose. So the pressure on groundwater is increasing day by day. Too much use of groundwater may prove catastrophic, unless enough time is given for rechargomg of the water level underground. If the groundwater level depletes fast, it may lead to landslide. That is a big concern. The government is reportedly working on this front too. The government is planning to introduce piped water in the villages as in urban areas. That will ensure the maximum use of surface water and thus cut the dependence on groundwater.

The government can plan small townships in the villages-a combination of piped water supply and vertical building. All facilities will be there-schools, shops, community centres, recreational facilities, etc. That will help save crop land. What is needed is the appropriate planning by the government. The villagers can help the government by giving their land. On the other hand, the government can provide with loans for project implementation and the loans can be repaid in easy installments. Thus small townships can be developed in the villages. The government should start the work on a full scale before it is too late, before the villages turn into urban jungles. The conservation of nature should be always kept in mind while doing the planning.


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