Telangana has ambitious goal of creating urban areas which can be compared with best in the world but this goal may remain only on paper with the state facing acute shortage of qualified and experienced urban planners. Due to the shortage of urban and town planners, the government has to rely on private consultants based outside Telangana for designing master plans, environmental and traffic studies.
Due to shortage of urban planners, planning departments of cities, towns and newly converted municipalities have been operating with less than 50 per cent of the sanctioned strength. Also, the MA&UD department has been relying on consultants for a Comprehensive Transportation Study (CTS) for the growing needs of the urban population. While the state has 142 municipalities, the state does not even have one qualified planner in each municipality.
Insufficient urban planners is resulting in scattered and haphazard development of cities and facing multiple problems on pollution, water contamination, traffic congestion and lack of parking spaces front.
Last year, while addressing the 66th National Town and Country Planners Congress, K. T. Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for I T, Municipal Administration and Urban Development had noted that there being only one School of Planning in Telangana i.e., Jawaharlal Nehru Fine Arts and Architecture University, Hyderabad while other states have a number of Schools of Planning. He had then argued that there is a need to start new schools of planning in Telangana. He also assured that Telangana would be in a position to absorb 100 new students of planning for training so that after completion of their training they could be appropriately placed.
In fact, shortage of urban planners is not restricted to Telangana alone but is an all India phenomenon. According to UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, 2019, India requires, 3 lakh urban and town planners by 2031 to develop its cities into smart ones. However, the country has only one urban planner per four lakh people.