Unlike Bengaluru and Mysuru that are grappling with civic issues liked blocked drains and garbage clearance, NEW BAGALKOT, a small town of around 1lakh population, doesn’t have such problem. For, when Charles Correa, the country’s greatest architect ( who passed away last week)planned this north Karnataka town around 30yrs ago, he had factored in “future growth and problems.”
NAVANAGAR ——- the township ——- was planned to rehabilitate the people of Bagalkot, as most of the town was submerged when the Almatti dam was built on the upper Krishna. After becoming Chief Minister in 1984, Ramakrishna Hegde decided to relocate residents of Bagalkot to a new township. And who better than Charles Correa to draw the blueprint for the new town ?
“Correa visited Bagalkot twice for the planning. As per his guidance, the design and map for NAVANAGAR was prepared. But all construction work was done by Tankasali Achitects of Vijayapura,” former IAS officer Dr. Shivanand Jamadar told TOI.
“First, Correa and his team conducted a socio-economic survey of old Bagalkot town. However, the plan he prepared after that was rejected by the people of the old city. So, he came out with a modified plan for the town as per the people’s demand,” jamadar, the former Upper Krishna Project (Rehabilitation & Reconstruction) commissioner, added.
The government allowed people to use the wooden doors and windows of their old houses for constructing new ones in the township. Effective use of available place and low construction cost were the specialities of Correa’s design. Though 4,500acres of land were acquired for NAVANAGAR, only 1,521acres was sued for the first phase, which has 64 sectors. VB Abbigeri, assistant engineer of Bagalkot Town Development Authority (BTDA), said adding that, “each sector has the provision for a garden, vegetable market and a commercial complex besides the residential sites. Also, provisions were made for a huge market and a commercial complex for every five sectors.” The locality is so good and developed that land costs anywhere between Rs.1200 and Rs.1500 per square feet now.
Hanamant Tasagavakar, a litterateur and resident of sector 18, said, “When our house submerged in the Almatti dam backwater, the government allotted us a site in Navanagar. We immediately began constructing a house and moved into it within a year. As there are a lot of facilities in our locality, we feel we are living in a posh area. We still remember Correa and Jamadar who took the construction of the new township as a challeng and gave us Navanagar.”
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT NAVANAGAR ?
* The township was planned after a socio-economic survey of people to be rehabilitated.
* Dedicated sites for sports, cultural activities, hospital and educational institutions.
* It has wide roads, marvellous buildings and a museum.
* Four big gardens and greenery everywhere to check effects of pollution.
* Provisions for future expansion of the township.
* No strict rules, so that people could use doors and windows of their old houses in the new ones.
* Only major roads and their links were designed, making allowance for development of new streets by people. The houses were constructed in Navanagar nearly 16yrs ago.
The Bagalkot City Municipality is planning to name a garden or road or circle, in the new township, after Correa.
——————- Sushilendra T Naik. (TNN)
NAVANAGAR is now a model city, thanks to the great Architect’s Vision & Design.