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Bhuj Development Plan and Town Planning Scheme, Gujarat 2002 -2004

Bhuj is a city in northwestern Gujarat, situated in the lowlands between the Rann (marsh) and the Gulf of Kachchh (Kutch). It is a commercial centre for wheat, barley, cattle, cotton, salt and handicrafts including cotton cloth and silver items. 

In 2001, Bhuj was hit by an earthquake of unprecedented intensity, which adversely affected the lives of thousands, destroyed infrastructure systems, impacted social & political institutions and the economy. To deal with the aftermath of the disaster, the Government of Gujarat decided to rebuild the city, for which they appointed HCP as the planning consultants. The objective of the project was to support speedy rehabilitation and reconstruction of urban infrastructure and public facilities.

Studies of the existing and pre-earthquake condition of land development and physical and social infrastructure were undertaken. Based on this, a draft development plan was prepared. Rebuilding the historic core of Bhuj required detailed planning and implementation of this development plan. For this, HCP proposed an innovative approach to the Town Planning scheme - a land pooling mechanism used in Gujarat to recognize agricultural land at the urban periphery to create public infrastructure and well planned private lots. To prevent the spread of misinformation that could result in undue panic, the HCP team worked with the government to keep the people informed at all stages of development of the proposals.

Bhuj's densely compacted walled city covered just over a square kilometre, with over 12,000 plots of land and over 24,000 properties. It had very narrow streets, cul de sacs and bottlenecks which became death traps in the earthquake. The old city was to be rebuilt to become safer, have wider streets and public spaces. The planners consulted with stakeholders and undertook meticulous cadastral surveys and planning for two years and the plan's rapid implementation has transformed the old city. 

Site Area: 130 Ha
Client: Bhuj Area Development Authority
Status: Implemented

 

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