Out of 197, callous NMC develops only 69 reservations proposed in DP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Feb 2018 10:01:36


Special Correspondent,

This may be called as apathy of the local body as it has developed only 69 reservations proposed in the Development Plan (DP) of Nagpur city. The new plan will be published in the year 2020 and the present track-record of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) in implementing the existing DP has been apparently very lackadaisical and callous.

The Nagpur Improvement Trust in the year 1946 had prepared a Master Plan for Nagpur. This plan contained financial policy, development control and zoning regulations.

Also, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) prepared first Development Plan for Nagpur, which was sanctioned by government in the year 1976. Six years later this plan was revised in the year 1982 that received full sanction only in year 2001. This delayed plan is being implemented now.
The DP has suggested 197 reservations in the jurisdiction of NMC, 546 reservations in NIT areas and 72 reservations of other departments. NIT was planning authority for Nagpur till February 27, 2002 after which NMC became the Planning Authority.

The local body has issued Transferable Development Rights (TDR) in 47 cases to release the land for play ground, library, school and other public purposes. The 22 reservations of development plan road are also being developed by the local authority. Still, 128 reservations are pending to get nod from civic body.

Sources claimed that NIT has deleted several reservations of undeveloped layouts in the city. The city has more than 3,000 undeveloped layouts and Trust has deleted maximum reservations of these areas causing problems for the planning of the city. The city has been expanded over a total area of 227.56 square kms.

Recently, Municipal Commissioner Ashwin Mudgal has divided Town Planning Department into two parts- one for the planning of the city while second part is for sanctioning of the building plans. Municipal Commissioner has directed planning wing to expedite the process to develop the DP reservations of the city.

During last 18 years, Multimodal International Cargo Hub at Nagpur (MIHAN), Metro Rail also started development work in the city. Therefore, it is necessary to revise the present development plan at the earliest to regularise these development works. Meanwhile, the city has expanded its limits and included Narsala and Hudkeshwar villages in its limit. Besa-Beltarodi, Ghogli and other villages situated on the fringes of the city may also be included in the city area in near future. The development plan will be finalised by the year 2020 to include all these villages and rewrite new development story of the orange city.

The Central and State Governments have proposed Smart City in backward areas of East Nagpur. Bharatpur, Punapur, Pardi, Bhandewadi to be developed under Smart City Project. The Smart City will be having a new Development Control Rules (DCR) for undertaking development in these areas.

480 PU plot reservations lapsed in last 10 yrs

During last 10 years, 480 reservations of public utility (PU) plots in Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council areas have lapsed across Maharashtra. Of them 304 lapsed due to orders passed by various courts while 176 lapsed in pursuance to orders passed by the State Government.

According to Urban Development Department, in all 5054 lands reserved for public purpose are acquired by concern Municipal Corporations, Nagar Parishad and various statutory bodies from the year 2006. Out of these 5054 reservations, 4513 lands were acquired entirely and remaining 541 were acquired partially which were reserved under development plan.

The High Court had sought to know as to how many Public Utility lands were acquired to honour the reservations under the MRTP Act in last 10 years across Maharashtra in a suo-motu petition initiated last year while acknowledging that large tracts of land reserved for various public purposes could not be acquired by State Government due to paucity of funds. The High Court also sought details of number of reservations, which are deemed to have lapsed between 2006-2016 due to orders passed by the High Court or because of the orders of State Government.

The High Court while dealing with a matter in which original land owner after serving the purchase notice under section 44 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, also wondered whether the MRTP Act with its laudable objective, had served any purpose or it had only given rise to the litigation. Many lands are getting de­reserved because of the Court’s orders due to mandate of Section 127(1) or Section 49(7) of the MRTP Act, the High Court had noted while lamenting that for want of funds, the lands could not be acquired and, therefore, the society was deprived from having open spaces or garden or other reservation for public utility. Due to this, the laudable purpose of MRTP act itself would stand defeated, the High Court had noted.

The High Court has already scoffed at the tendency of public bodies and local bodies to “Sell the Government property to sustain themselves.” Such organisations have to remain relevant because of need of their work by the society, the High Court pointed out while totally rejecting argument of “commercial use or part-sale of land to sustain socially useful activity.”

These bodies must generate revenue or funds as per law constituting them and provide service to public in proportion thereof while making it clear that “profit resulting from any commercial activity on such plots must become part of public revenue.”

In such dismal scenario, public utility reservations must be fastened on land vested with the State Government or the local bodies, the High Court suggested while recommending that such lands must continue with the Government and their user must not be allowed to be modified. “Commercial exploitation or such lands whether allotted at concessional rate or otherwise by any such allottee must be disallowed,” the High Court tersely observed.