2011Maharashtra RegionalTown Planning Act, 1966:45 Years of CommitmentEfforts By: Ar. Omkar ParishwadIII Sem, MURP, SPA, Bhopal.As part of internship assignment2011Study of ‘Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act’:Amendments concerning TP Schemes (special emphasis on PuneRegion) After the accession of ‘Development plan’ in the Bombay Town Planning Act in 1954 for BombayProvince, came the concept of Regional Planning. This was incorporated in the MRTP Act, 1966; aModel act for Maharashtra State which was based on the comprehensive planning theory. Other Statesin India also followed this ideal act for Developmental needs. However as time passed theimplementation aspect went on remanding. This report consists of the current situation in MRTP Act incomparison to the GTPUD Act, 1976 and the need to amendment for this act.
Historical Background:Town Planning Law is not new in India. The history of town planning legislation in Indiadates back to early part of the 20th century when the erstwhile Bombay Presidency took thelead in enacting the first town planning legislation in the country viz. The Bombay TownPlanning Act, 1915 which came into force on 6th March, 1915. The geographical boundaryof the Gujarat State as is known today was then the part of the Bombay State. This Act wasthen followed by other provinces later on .The Bombay act of 1915 mainly provided for; i. The preparation of town planning schemes (TPS) for areas in course of development within the jurisdiction of local authority, andii. The recovery by planning authority of betterment contribution from the owners of benefitted lands.Due to the rapid industrial growth coupled with increasing level of urbanization during mid-century, the recognition of the need for viewing urban development as one whole integrateddevelopment in which each sector has a definite role to play and not in unrelated manner, wasfelt by the town planners. It was observed that T.P. schemes prepared under the 1915 actresulted in the piecemeal planning having no relation with the adjoining areas.Thus, to have a planned development of every square inch of the land within the municipallimits the need for another enactment was unavoidable which leads to the enactment ofBombay town planning act, 1954 replacing the 1915 act which came into force from 1st April1957.the concept of development plan (DP) was introduced for the first time in 1954 act asthe main planning instrument retaining the TPS for implementation of the DP.The Bombay act of 1954 was applicable to the erstwhile Bombay state, then comprising ofSaurashtra & Kutch area, Gujarat area, Vidharbha & Marathwada area. Since geographicalarea of Bombay state was too large and because of the peculiarity of Saurashtra & Kutchregion, it was felt that separate town planning act on the basis of Bombay town planning act,1954 is necessary. Thus a separate town planning at for a whole of the state of Saurashtra wasenacted viz. The Saurashtra Town Planning Act, 1955(Saurashtra Act No. XII of 1955).The MRTP Act, 1966 promotes and regulates developments in the urban area and well asareas having potential of being urbanized. It is a comprehensive planning act withdevelopment functions. This Act comes under one of the five basic trendsetter models oftown and country planning in India and was adopted subsequently by other states likeGujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh etc.Objectives of Enactment of MRTP Act, 1966The main objectives as mentioned in the preamble of the Maharashtra Regional and TownPlanning Act, 1966 are as follows: To make provision for planning the development and use of land in “regions” established for that purpose and for the constitution of Regional Planning Boards;
To make better provisions for the preparation of Development Plans with a view to ensuring that Town Planning Schemes are made in a proper manner and their execution is made effective; To provide for the creation of New Towns by means of Development Authorities; To make provisions for the compulsory acquisition of land required for public purposes in respect of the plans; And for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid. The Salient features of this act include the provisions for Regional Planning, Development plan, Town planning Schemes and finally Implementation schemes such as Land Acquisition, Transfer of Development Rights and Plot Reconstitution Techniques. The Finance Aspect (Finance account and Audit) and the Governance for Plan Enforcement (Planning Authority) are available under this Act. Current Situation & Emerging Issues: Inspite of the fact that this town planning Act of 1966 has done a good job and lot of planning activities are being observed in the state yet few shortcomings, as observed, needs a full consideration of the concerned authorities so that a time bound plan or a scheme can be prepared and implemented in the State to cater to the needs of the ever increasing urban society. i. There is no definite time limit prescribed for the preparation of development plan by the planning authority and its approval by the State Government.ii. Reservations on the private lands for various public purposes or for the local bodies or for the Union/States serve no useful purpose. By and large these reservation remains on the paper itself. This can be overcome by designing a suitable mechanism for generation of finances or redesigning through town planning schemes. The agency for which the reservation has been kept may be asked to pay some percentage of the market value of land to the planning authority at the time of preparation of the plan itself and if they don’t acquire the land once the development plan comes into force the amount may be forfeited. This will create a sense of seriousness on the part of the concerned agency. Otherwise the principle of balanced development and proper planning of the areas will fail.iii. Development plans prepared are too idealistic and bear no relation to the implementing capacity of the planning authority. The act must have clear cut provision for the source of finance and how the plan is to be implemented within the time frame so as to achieve the objective of the plan in its true sense.iv. The act casts an obligation on the planning authority to prepare a development plan but it cast no similar obligation to implement it. If a draft development plan is not prepared within the time limit prescribe by the Government, it intervenes and appoints an officer to prepare the plan on behalf of the authority, but the act is silent if there is a failure by the
planning authority, in implementing the approved plan properly and within the given time frame. Therefore, the act must provide unambiguously obligatory duty of plan implementation as the plan preparation is. There is provision in the act (section 96) for the submission of annual reports to the state Government by the planning authority but the authority is not submitting it or not acting in accordance with it, the Act does not say as to be added in the present Act.v. Even in the case of town planning scheme also the town planning officer is taking long time in its preparation since there is no time limit prescribed under this Act, for the extension of periods by the state Government, for preparation of preliminary and final scheme. Therefore, some time frame is a must for preparation of a town planning scheme. This will obviously reduce the court cases and financial burden on the planning authority.Rapid Urbanization is the current status of the development in Maharashtra. The populationdensity as per 2011 census is 365 ppkm2. Nearly 42% urbanisation is accounted as perpopulation figures. The rural figures have gone up since 2001 census as the State policy wasdiverted, but still the overall statistics suggests the need for a more progressive and rapiddevelopment in Maharashtra. This pressure on implementation can be abridged by the TPSchemes.A committee headed by Shri. Landge, deputy director town planning Sunil Sukhlikar, formerdirector town planning A R Patharkar, former deputy director of town planning Y S Kulkarni,former joint director B V Kolhatkar and architects Anand Patwardhan and Rajiv Raje; wasformed for this purpose of amending the shortcomings of MRTP Act, 1966.There is provision of TP scheme in the Act. The scheme allows an alternate mechanism topool in land for urban development activities at a faster pace, without taking recourse tocompulsory acquisition of land and benefits the land owners financially. The scheme isconceptualised as a joint venture between the local authority and the land owners, whovoluntary agree to pool in their land, redistribute the reconstituted plots among themselvesand share the development cost.After the development, the price of the same plots goes up and the owners get more benefitsdespite the area of their plots being reduced. Feeling the urgency to put the scheme toeffective use, the state government had a year ago issued an ordinance to amend the TPscheme and send it to the Centre for its consent.Town Planning SchemesAs per the provisions of MRTP Act, a Planning Authority may for the purpose ofimplementing the proposals in the Final Development Plan, prepare one or more townplanning schemes for the area within its jurisdiction.Declaration of intent: The Planning Authority shall declare the intent of making a TownPlanning Scheme and its publishing it in official gazette. The Planning Authority in
consultation with the Director of Country Planning shall make the draft scheme and publishthe notification in an official gazette within twelve months of the declaration of intent.Contents of draft scheme: a. Ownership, area and tenure of original land holdings. b. Details of reservation, acquisition or allotment of land. c. Extent and boundaries where plot reconstitution is required. d. Total cost estimations. e. Allotment of final plots to owner and transfer of ownership.Objections and suggestion of affected persons to draft scheme to be considered before gettingit approved from state government.Power of state government to sanction draft scheme: Within six month of notifying in theofficial gazette about preparation of draft scheme, the planning authority shall submit it tostate government after incorporating the objection and suggestion and modification, if any.Honouring the statutory plans: There is a restriction on use and development of land afterthe declaration of Town Planning Scheme. Within the area included in the scheme no personshall change land use, or carry out any development with necessary permissions from theplanning authority.The state government sanctions the final scheme and as it may think fit may withdraw ascheme and once the final scheme comes to force, the Planning Authority has the powers ofeviction from a said property, demolition, alteration work etc. and execution of any workdeemed important under the scheme. For any variations on ground sure to errors,irregularities or informalities etc. Planning Authority may implement the changes aftergetting permission from the state government in writing.Overview and Effects of Amendments in TP Schemes (Pune region)Unplanned growth has given rise to large-sale illegal construction in the urban regions suchas Pune, Mumbai, etc. The state cabinets decision to amend the act for speedyimplementation of town planning schemes will definitely benefit such regions.Provisions in the present act permit town planning or area development schemes only inregions where the development plan is in force. The changes in the act will allow properplanning even in areas not covered by the development plan. This will pave the way forplanned development in the fringe areas.Town-planning schemes, where land is pooled for amenities and facilities, benefit thecommunity which gets an equitable share of the land. The schemes, the best way to executethe DP of a city, are for a small area; can be incorporated into the development plan.The important amendments include the mandatory three and a half-year timeframe forpreparing the TP scheme and inclusion of fringe areas of urban centres. There is blatantviolation of the 0.4 Floor Space Index (FSI) in the fringe villages leading to illegalconstruction, leading to haphazard growth.
Pune Region: In 1997, 36 villages were included in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)limits. As a result, the PMC limits increased from 146 sq km to 450.69 sq.km. However, in2001, after a few villages were delinked, the PMC area was reduced to 243.96 sq.km. Duringthe 180-year span from 1817 to 1997, urban areas in and around the city (including areasunder adjoining municipal bodies) have grown from five sq km to 700 sq kmThe city has especially expanded in post-Independence era. According to the Pune MunicipalCorporation estimated statistics between 1901 and 2001, the citys urban population hasgrown from 1.64 lakh to about 32 lakh.The 1987 DP of Pune city has not been implemented fully till date. Only 35 to 40 % for theold Pune city limits has been executed. The dismal implementation has badly affected thecitys development. When the execution is low, it results in unplanned development and putspressure on the existing infrastructure. Once the act is amended, the civic body canimplement the pending DP for the old city under the TP scheme rules.Geographical and demographical changes had raised technical hitches in the implementationof the 1987 DP plans under the TP scheme; however, the 1987 DP is good for the city as itprotects the hills and environment. Growth in the fringe areas would reduce the burden on thecity and shorter plans will mean restricting wayward growth in Pune region. Pune will growand nearby villages will have to be merged in the civic limits. Once the Pune MetropolitanRegion Development Authority is in place, integrated planning of the entire region will bepossible.TP schemes will check illegal constructions in the fringe areas and strict implementation ofthe Development Control (DC) rules in a 10-km radius of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwadmunicipal corporations can control the chaos. TP schemes could thus be implemented in theold city areas as well.The process for the existing town-planning schemes is complex and time consuming. In thenew model the local body will appoint an arbitrator to hear suggestions and objections andthe TP scheme will start immediately. The mandatory timeframe is the most important factorin this model. Pune had implemented TP schemes in Shivajinagar, Parvati and Sangamwadi.But these schemes took many years for completion; the amendments would benefit the 23merged villages in the Pune.The DP for these villages is pending with state government. Now, the civic body will nothave to wait for the approval of the DP and can go ahead with the TP schemes. TP schemesare proposed in over 1,400 acres in the fringe villages. Also, TP schemes will address theinfrastructure gap.TP schemes could be implemented in the old city areas, but with limitations. TP schemes areexclusively for developing areas and Punes surroundings have a huge potential fordevelopment.Push for nodes, satellite towns: The amendment could revitalise the state governmentsinitiatives to develop satellite nodes and townships with good connectivity to reduce thepopulation burden on Pune. A proposal to lay suburban rail lines to Daund, Mulshi andLonavla has been submitted to the central government and the issue of more concessions to
townships along the proposed ring road is being pursued. Nodes are centres of activity, suchas commercial centres, retail centres, education facilities and others. A satellite town or asatellite city is a urban planning concept. These are smaller local bodies adjacent to a majorcity which is the core of a metropolitan area. They differ from suburbs and sub-divisions. The urban development department has formulated the proposal to enable land pooling from various owners in a layout and carry out composite development Certain provisions in the proposal were borrowed from Gujarat, where such a model has been successful. The amendments will be introduced in the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966. The move will enable sustainable and planned development in fringe areas, where urbanisation is on the rise. Existing MRTP provisions permitted town planning or area development schemes to be undertaken only in regions where the development plan is in force, new provisions will allow such planning even in areas not covered by the DP. The new law will also limit the timeframe for implementing a TP scheme in a layout within 3.5 years of "declaration of intention" to develop the plot. The existing TP norms stipulated no such time limits, with the result that only 45 schemes have so far been implemented since 1915 including four schemes in Pune city. New norms have been introduced to increase participation of land owners in such schemes.Gujarat Model Act In exercise of the powers conferred by the Section 3 of the Gujarat State Legislature (Delegation of Powers) act, 1976, the President enacted the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976 to consolidate and amend the law relating to the making and execution of development plans and town planning schemes in Gujarat, which came into force from February 1, 1978. In exercise of the powers conferred by the section 118 of the above Act, the Gujarat government made rules consistent with the provisions of this act, the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Rules, 1979. The Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act (GTPUDA), 1976 provides an alternative to the traditional model of infrastructure development. GTPUDA, 1976 is a two- stage process for urban infrastructure development. In the first stage, city wide Development Plan (DP) is prepared and in the second stage TP schemes, to realise proposals in the DP. The second stage involves land appropriation, land readjustment, and infrastructure development plan and financial provisions. Land owners are involved in the process which includes reconstituting of properties, appropriating land, levying betterment charges, compensation and suggestions and objections. The expansion area is divided into smaller areas between 1 and 2 sq. km each. Each area is taken up for TPS.
Land readjustment and pooling is the key in Gujarat model. In this the developing authority (Municipal Corporation) does not acquire land for the project (roads, infrastructure etc.) Land pools are formed for the implementation of the project and then the remaining area is reconstituted into plots as per the plan and given back to the original owners. The land reallocated is proportionate to the size of the original plot. The cost to develop the infrastructure is raised through the collection of the development charges from the owners or through selling the land pooled for the common purpose. Landowners are free to sell the developed plot which generally gets higher price.InferencesThe MRTP Act of 1966 has tried to fulfil its objectives to a great extent, but looking to thefact that most of the Maharashtra’s economic growth coupled with urban development are yetto come in the near future, a more comprehensive law on town planning and urbandevelopment is required to be enacted, to be conceived in a regional perspective. Reasonabletime limit for preparing the different stages of the plans/schemes by the planning authority aswell as its approval by the State Government must be provided for in the town planning Act.Also care should be taken to have provisions which are workable in the actual practice. Theplanning legislation should be such as to be able to succeed in the court of law and attain itsobjectives.Undoubtedly, any planning legislation has to be dynamic and for well-being of the people.However, it may have different provisions with respect to the local needs. Besides, it mustalso be able to adapt the advancement in the technology and modern tools available to theplanners. Geographical Information System (GIS) is a fast emerging area in the field ofinformation technology which has influenced the planning process. The maps/plans generatedfrom the GIS provide improved clarity, easier to understand, does not allow for manipulationand are better product than conventional maps, complete transparency which is the keywordtoday can be attained while during the preparation of plans and schemes. Due to absence ofstrong legal backing, Government is unable to exploit this technology. Therefore, theplanners and legal experts are required to work out a mechanism to incorporatecorresponding provisions in the planning legislation considering its tremendous utility in thefield of planning practices. Thus this congress is timely and appropriate platform to discussthis aspect at length and suggest suitable recommendations in the planning legislation.