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Maharashtra forms panel to reform town planning

Rahul Wadke

The present town planning laws do not reflect the needs of urban areas in the State; therefore the Government has formed the group.

Mumbai , Oct. 10

THE Maharashtra Government has announced the formation of a core group of urban planners and policy experts, which will re-examine the town planning process and the extent of town planning acts in the State.

The group will re-evaluate Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, to suit the present needs. It will submit its recommendations to the Government in six months.

Mr Ramanand Tiwari, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Maharashtra, told Business Line that the present town planning laws do not reflect the needs of urban areas in the State; therefore the Government has formed the group.

"The core group will look at very sensitive issues such as floor surface index and transfer and development rights. And give its recommendations to the Government, which may lead to some amendments in the laws," Mr Tiwari said.

Functions: The Urban Development Department has also issued a Government Regulation (GR) delineating the basic functions of the core group.

The group will critically examine issues like the need for decentralisation of the planning process. It will redefine the meaning of planning for urban communities, in the light of the 74th amendment of the Constitution that empowers local self-government bodies in the planning process.

The group will also examine the various hurdles in the implementation of the planning process and suggest remedial action.

The group will create an outline for the proposed `Yearly Town Planning Report'. It will also study the role of various stakeholders in the planning process and help planning institutions in the State to undertake capacity building, create training facilities and programmes for their employees.

The core group would be led by Mr A.K. Jain, Advisor, All India Institute of Local Government, Mumbai. The group will also consist of planners from various planning bodies and also independent experts.

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