Good Town Planning Cardinal [opinion]

IN the development of towns and cities technocrats sit down to prepare a town plan which outlines how the town will be laid out.

A good town plan is one which takes into account and accommodates all the aspects of urban living which entails bringing people of different backgrounds to live together as opposed to a village set up which may sometimes comprise a single clan the town plan will also take into account and allow for future town extensions.

A town plan will allocate separate land for the various types of residential accommodation such as high rise flats, low, medium and high cost houses where it may not be convenient to mix these developments.

Other activities expected to take place in an urban environment for individual or common use will also be allocated land and their relationship will depend on type of function expected to take place in a particular zone for instance a zone reserved for hospital development will be allocated away from industrial areas because hospitals require peace and a quiet environment, while industrial activities produce noise by their very nature. A town plan will therefore, allow for recreation facilities, schools, places of worship, commercial areas and so on.

Considerations in choosing the site for development of a town or city include identifying the source of water to supply and satisfy all urban activities that require availability of water.

Disposal of solid waste as well as sewerage will also be considered and the distribution network allowed in the plan.

Large groups of people living in urban areas will require moving from one point to another to report for work or just to fulfill activities necessary for urban living and transport goods from manufacturing points to consumer outlets means of transportation will differ and these need all to be catered for in the development.

Routes for transportation of such services as water, electricity and sewerage ought to be allowed and respected hence the creation of sanitary and service lanes and Zesco Limited way leaves because these services require strips of land to be distribute to where they are needed either within the same town or city or in between towns and because services may require upgrading or regular maintenance these strips of land allowed in town and cities should not be built on.

Once the development plan has been accepted and implemented it is extremely important that the plan be respected so as to ensure orderly development of our towns and cities and where alterations in the development plan become necessary these should be carried out after evaluating all the implications and general consensus should be sought for the purpose of avoiding sources of potential conflict.

And so it was for Ndola which had a railway line linking Ndola with Luanshya which railway line occupied a strip of land partly running behind the eighteenth tee at the Ndola Golf Club at the back from the Kabwe Road just before the Kafubu River.

At a time when most of those responsible were probably either hypnotized or had taken large doses of sleeping tablets pirates systematically vandalised this railway line by removing completely the stones, timber sleepers and the rail track leaving this strip of land now looking more of a gravel road than a railway line.

By law a strip of land allowed for a railway line is 50 metres from the centre of the railway line to either side of the line and nothing should be constructed in this strip of land unless of course it has been allowed by the owners of the railway company because this strip of land is allowed to accommodate future railway expansion as well as to act as a buffer in case of accidents.

After this piece of railway was striped some people have now moved in illegally, allocated themselves or bought plots and have started developing by constructing houses.

Now two things have happened to prolong the life span of roads that are constructed at great cost it is intended that all heavy cargo such as copper will in future be offloaded from roads to be transported by railway.

Secondly, Zambia Railways Limited is upgrading the railway line network and improve railway connectivity and are currently finalising works related to inter-mine connectivity.

The works on railway connectivity will move to the phase of connecting the railway line to other companies such as Zambezi Portland Cement, Chilanga Cement Limited, the Dangote Cement Factory and other organisations once this programme is completed the country will have all heavy cargo transported by rail a development that will help preserve and prolong the life span of Zambian roads.

This plan to revive railway transportation and improve and extend railway connectivity will extend to connecting Ndola to Luanshya as was the case before.

In the past illegality, especially by those who encroached on other people’s land was tolerated by past governments which resulted in chaos, confusion and distortion of town master plans.

This political approach seem to have changed, and rightly so, perpetrators and victims of these acts of illegality ought to have learnt from the Mindolo demolitions that took place in Kitwe where families were inconvenienced and also lost money in abortive builders’ works.

The reserved strip of land which served as a railway link between Ndola and Luanshya belong to Zambia Railways Limited and those who have encroached and constructed on this strip of land risk having their houses demolished irrespective of the methodology used to acquire plots along this land because national development cannot be derailed by illegal activities.

The free aice to those affected is to stop developing on this land until you are hundred per cent sure that all is above board because the game of cat and mouse being played by some of the perpetrators of this vice will not resolve this illegality.

Comments: 0955789960

Source : The Times of Zambia

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