I have been arguing for tall buildings for optimum land utilisation in scare urban space. The matter of 'chapatti cities' of India was raised by the World Bank President during his visit to Kolkata, and there is a post in this blog itself. The book 'Triumph of the Cities' by Harvard Urban Economist Edward Glaseser (Penguin 2011) also talks forcefully of this concept - that we must strive for taller cities. In fact we are going to hold a national workshop on "Densification of Cities" on 14th July 2012.
Recently, the MoEF, GoI has brought out an advisory saying that in considering tall buildings fire fighting arrangements not only for the buildings but also the location of the nearest fire station and the width of roads must be taken into account (no. 21-270/2008 - IA,III dt 7.2.2012 of MoEF, GoI). It states that for building more than 15 m in height, there must be a minimum right of way and that the local fire station must be within a given circle from it. The Govt of West Bengal formed a Committee consisting of Environment, Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Departments to study the guidelines. The Committee decided to study the guidelines more intensively.
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Here is a clipping from today's Anandabazar: