To speed up implementation of development plans designed for major cities, the State government is contemplating time-bound responsibilities for officers and allocating more funds for land acquisition.
The government recently approved the Mumbai Development Plan 2034, which promises more affordable housings and open spaces in the city. In the past, implementation of DP has been poor, with only about 30% of the 1991 DP implemented. The situation is similar in other cities as well.
An official from the Urban Development Department (UDD) said, “The municipal corporation prepares the DP for proper and planned development of the city to avoid congestion and to improve infrastructure. Poor implementation leads to haphazard development, putting pressure on the system.”
The government is coming up with a time-bound plan to implement the DP, where officials at every step will be held accountable. “The reason to prepare a DP every 20 years is to accommodate changes, and with an understanding that the earlier DP has been implemented. How can fresh work begin if the earlier work is not completed?” the official asked.
The UDD has identified a shortage of funds as one of the main causes of delay in land acquisition. Though the DP promises incentives such as extra FSI and TDR for landowners and developers, the government will allocate more funds for acquisition through civic budgets.
Planning experts, however, remain doubtful about the push for implementation.
“Extra FSI, TDR, accommodation reservation was introduced earlier for the 1991 DP, despite which we implemented only 30%. Our thrust has been more on builders and private landowners to make a DP successful, which hardly happens. Whether land acquisition will be successful or not is difficult to judge now,” said Hussain Indorewala, assistant professor at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies. He said it will be important to see if the funds with the municipal corporation are distributed equitably for the public good.
While Mumbai DP 2034 has been approved, the Regional Plan 2016-2036 for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is set to get a go-ahead within a month. It will impact a population of around 22.8 million under eight municipal corporations (Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Navi Mumbai and Vasai-Virar), nine municipal councils (Ambernath, Badlapur, Alibaug, Karjat, Khopoli, Matheran, Panvel, Pen and Uran), 35 census towns, and 994 villages.
The plan has been scrutinised by a committee under the Chief Minister and is awaiting a response from the Director (Town Planning).