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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Civic devpt plans to go online

Will Lead To Transparency, Cut Down On Red Tape: Officials

Mumbai: The state government will upload development plans (DPs) of all municipal corporations and councils online. 

    The urban development department (UDD) on Wednesday issued an order to 347 corporations and councils, which are charging Rs 250 or more for each remark on a plot size of DP sheet, to immediately take steps in this direction. The plans, since attached to the revenue side of government functioning, are not available even under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 
    State officials hope this will create greater transparency in the working of local bodies and cut down on redtape at the lowest levels of bureaucracy. 
    "It is a step in the right di
rection and will give power to citizens to check if they are being duped by phony real estate agents while purchasing a house or if a playground in their neighborhood is being misused. This also means a handful of people will now apply for a manual copy of the DP sheet, cutting down on the workload of municipal workers," an official of civic development plan department said. 
    The government has scanned all the DP sheets and will upload them by March 25, 2012, UDD officials said. "The exercise will be carried out systematically to ensure even minor details of a DP are included," an official said. 
    The DP defines land use patterns in the city and details floor space index (FSI) norms for various areas. The 
plan also contains terms for schools, colleges, and open spaces for a populace, among other reservations. The need for a DP is felt in large cities and urban areas that are growing rapidly and becoming dense. This makes it necessary to divide them into zones, with statutory provisions controlling an area's growth systematically. The DP laws prohibit dangerous and 'obnoxious' use of construction in these zones: residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural. 
    "When uploaded, the plans will facilitate systematic planning, ensuring benefits to the community at large," a civic official said. 

    The civic body is planning its third DP, which may be completed by 2016. However, the official deadline is still 2014. The current plan got published in 1983 and public suggestions were invited. The plan was approved by the state government in 1991. The first DP for Mumbai was prepared in 1964. 

As per Section of 22 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966, a DP includes 
Use of land, such as for residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural and recreational purposes 
    Reservation of land for public purposes: Schools, colleges, medical, public health, markets, social welfare, open spaces, gardens, theatres, museums, religious and other government buildings 

    Reservation of land for transport and communications: Roads, waterways, airports 

    Provisions for permission related to open spaces to be left around structures, character and size of building, density of population, sub-division of plots, parking spaces, among other building matters 

    Plan also controls tenement density per acre, FSI use for a locality for 'general welfare' of a zone


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