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Challenges in Urban Planning for local bodies in India

D.P. Tiwari
I.A.S., Commissioner & Director
Town & Country Planning, M.P. Bhopal - 462016, India
Tel + 755 – 427091, FAX + 91-755-427097
Email : tcp_bpl@sancharnet.in


Introduction
The urban population of India has rapidly increased in recent years. In 1961 about 79 million persons lived in urban areas of the country, by 2001, their number had gone up to over 285 million, an increase of over 350 percent in the last four decades, which will increase to over 400 million by the year 2011 and 533 million by the year 2021. In 1991 there were 23 metropolitan cities, which have increased to 35 in 2001. As a result, most urban settlements are characterized by shortfalls in housing and water supply, inadequate sewerage, traffic congestion, pollution, poverty and social unrest making urban governance a difficult task.

Census Total Population(Million) Urban Population(Million) % of Urban populationto total Population Decadal Urban growth rate(Percent)
1951 361.08 62.44 17.29 -
1961 439.23 78.93 17.97 26.41
1971 548.15 109.11 19.91 38.24
1981 683.32 159.46 23.34 46.15
1991 846.30 217.61 25.71 36.47
2001 1027.01 285.00 27.78 36.47

Urban Local Bodies [ULBs] which are statutorily responsible for provision and maintenance of basic infrastructure and services in cities and towns are under fiscal stress. To even operate and maintain existing services, let alone augment them, would be difficult. There has been little or no increase in their revenue base; user charges continue to be low or non-existent. Faced with such a situation the ULBs barring a few exceptions are becoming increasingly dependent on the higher levels of government for their operation and maintenance requirements. What is worse, many ULBs have accumulated ‘large’ debts and face serious problems in servicing them. Besides the restriction to a small resource base poor planning process, lack of periodical revision of municipal tax rates / user charges, and poor information system and records management are some of the basic weaknesses in the present municipal administration.

According to Census of India 1991, there are 3255 ULBs in the country classified into four major categories of municipal corporations, municipalities (Municipal council, municipal board, municipal committee), town area committees and notified area committees.

State/ Union Territory Municipal CorpoRation Municipal Council Municipal Committee Munici-pal Board Munici-pality Town Commi ttee/ Township/town area commiTtee Town Nagar Panchayat Notified area Total
Andhra Pradesh 3 - - - 109 - 141 2 255
Assam 1 - - 24 - 49 - - 74
Bihar 6 - - - 70 - - 92 168
Goa - 13 - - - - - - 13
Gujrat 6 - - - 62 - 100 10 178
Haryana - - 81 - - - - - 81
Himachal Pradesh 1 - 19 - - - - 30 50
Karnataka 6 - 20 - - 136 - 14 176
Kerala 3 - - - 61 2 - - 66
Madhya Pradesh - - 17 - 357 - - 7 381
Maharashtra 11 - - - 227 - - - 238
Orissa - - - - 30 - - 72 102
Punjab 3 - 95 - - - - 11 109
Rajasthan - 19 - - 168 - - 5 192
Tamil Nadu 3 - - - 98 8 212 - 321
Uttar Pradesh 8 - - 228 - 418 - 33 687
West Bengal 3 - - - 95 - - 10 108
Delhi 1 - 1 - - - - - 2
Andaman & Nicobar Islands - - - 1 - - - - 1
Chandigarh - - - - - - - 1 1
Pondicherry - - - - 4 - - - 4
Manipur - - - - 7 - - 21 28
Meghalaya - - - - 1 - - - 1
Sikkim - - - - - 7 - - 7
Tripura - - - - 1 - - - 1
Total 55 32 233 253 1290 620 453 319 3255

The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA74) has been flaunted as an initiative to decentralize power and strengthen democracy at local level. The CAA74 accords constitutional status to urban local bodies (ULBs) and prescribes a near uniform local governance structure valid across the country. It provides a framework for electing local-level governments and for their ‘effective’ functioning to ensure provision of urban services and infrastructure. It also provides urban local bodies with political, functional and fiscal empowement for good governance.

The CAA74 mandates compulsory reconstitution of municipal bodies within a stipulated time frame, thus ensuring continuity of local representatives. The twelfth schedule of the CAA74 has listed 18 functions and responsibilities to local bodies. These are :
  1. Urban planning, including town planning;
  2. Regulation of land use and construction of buildings;
  3. Planning for economic and social development;
  4. Roads and bridges;
  5. Water supply for domestic, industrial, and commercial purposes;
  6. Public health, sanitation, conservancy, and solid waste management;
  7. Fire services;
  8. Urban forestry, protection of the environment, and promotion of ecological aspects;
  9. Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded;
  10. Slum improvement and up-gradation;
  11. Urban poverty alleviation;
  12. Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, and playgrounds;
  13. Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects;
  14. Burials and burial grounds; cremation grounds and electric crematoria;
  15. Cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals;
  16. Vital statistics, including registration of births and deaths;
  17. Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus-stop, and public conveniences;
  18. Regulation of slaughterhouses and tanneries.
Importantly the CAA74 expressly recognizes a role for the ULBs within the constitutional framework and provides for devolution of financial powers from the state government for strengthening of municipal finances. The CAA74 also provides for constitution of Ward Committees in municipalities with a population of more than 3 lakh, Metropolitan Planning Committees and District Planning Committees for consolidation and preparation of plans of spatial, economic and social development. From a "top down " approach, the emphasis has thus shifted to the" bottom up" approach.

In view of the challenges facing by ULBs the planners have to prepare themselves for a new role and much wider responsibilities. As a bridge between the civil society and the politico-economic structure, the planners have to perform the role of the catalysts of change. With the ongoing globalization, economic liberalization and devolution of power to local bodies, gone are the days of armchair professionals. In the context of decentralization of power from Central / State Governments to local levels, there is a clear need to strengthen the Urban Local Bodies and endowing them with the finances, commensurate with their assigned responsibility. The experience indicates that the first and foremost priority should be to strengthen the local bodies and improve their performance who have the primary responsibility to provide urban services. This would involve the following key initiatives:-
  • The introduction of short and medium-term, Integrated Action Planning, to complement comprehensive long term objectives.
  • Simplification of plans and procedures.
  • Assets inventory for optimum utilization and the increase of the revenue base.
  • A new urban land policy, to match with the national Housing and Habitat Policy. Whereby the local authorities act as the facilitators and harness the resources of private sector / Community.
  • Upgrading technology and environment focus for infrastructure services and transportation.
  • Exploring new options and public-private partnership for development and financing of nfrastructure, land development, housing, conservation, and environmental improvement.
  • Networking with international and national urban programmes, e.g. Citynet Healthy Cities, UMP etc.
  • Mandatory performance management system and MIS.
  • Networking with NGO’s CBO’s and private sector for planning, management and maintenance.
Issues in Urban Planning
It is now being recognised that cities are the engines of growth at both regional and national level. To facilitate and sustain this growth, cities have to provide both a high quality of life and an efficient infrastructure for economic activities.

Environment management and protection strategy addresses the critical environmental problems, which mainly concerns preservation of lakes and water bodies, its catchment area and its water quality and land use management in catchment areas. The other environmental issues relate to the disposal and treatment of urban waste and its recycling and the socio-economic problems caused by the displacement of population, in context to future city spread. Environment management of lakes and water bodies are vulnerable to urban pressure in its close vicinity. It is essential to enforce land use control measures in the catchment areas to prevent further environmental degradation and thereby achieve desired level of sustainability. The sustained efforts are needed for plan implementation to improve the quality of city life. Hence an effective plan implementation strategy needs to be evolved to achieve the following objectives
  1. Protect natural environment.
  2. Conservation of areas of cultural heritage.
  3. Optimize land use and land utilization
  4. Provide services and infrastructure
  5. Participatory approach for supply of land and infrastructure development.
Urban planning is basically resource generation, resource development and resource management exercise. The efficiency of urban settlements largely depends upon how well they are planned, how economically they are developed and how efficiently they are managed. Planning inputs largely govern the efficiency level of human settlements. There is a widely held view that the Master planning methods adopted over the last few decades have not produced a satisfactory physical environment. The urban development planning process in the past has been unduly long and has been largely confined to the detailing of land use aspects. The plans have paid inadequate attention to the provision of trunk infrastructure, environmental conservation and financing issues. They have been unrealistic and have not been accompanied by investment programmes and capital budgets. Integrated urban development planning approach, taking into account regional, state and national strategies, and spatial, functional and other linkages between human settlements, has not been given much recognition. Also the planning and plan implementation processes have not paid adequate attention to the integration of land use and transport planning. The fact that transport is a key determinant of land use and “leads” development is sometimes ignored.

The Five Year plans laid stress on the need to undertaken town planning and evolve a National Town Planning Act so as to provide for zoning and land use, control of ribbon development, location of industries, clearance of slums, civic and diagnostic surveys and preparation of Master plans. Although a significant step in urban development was undertaken in the Plan in the form of Central assistance to the states for the preparation of master plans for selected areas, comprehensive action was not taken by the states for the adoption and implementation of the plans. The urban development planning should, essentially, be supportive of the economic development in the country. At present, hardly 20 percent of the urban centers have some sort of a Master Plan, which is many cases is just a policy document. It is estimated that there are about 1200 master plans prepared by various Agencies responsible for plan preparation but their implementation is not encouraging. The implementation of master plan facilitates the orderly and planned development of cities in a sustainable manner, which would ultimately help in good governance.

The Master plan Approach – Concepts, Objectives and Functions
The master plan, which was perceived to be a process rather than a conclusive statement, provides guidelines for the physical development of the city and guides people in locating their investments in the city. In short, Master Plan is a design for the physical, social, economic and political frame work for the city, which greatly improve the quality of Urban Governance also.

The functions of the Master Plan / Development plan are as follows :
  1. To guide development of a city is an orderly manner so as to improve the quality of life of the people
  2. Organize and coordinate the complex relationships between urban land uses
  3. Chart a course for growth and change, be responsive to change and maintain its validity over time and space, and be subject to continual review
  4. Direct the physical development of the city in relation to its social and economic characteristics based on comprehensive surveys and studies on the present status and the future growth prospects; and
  5. Provide a resource mobilization plan for the proposed development works.
Critique of the Master Plan Approach
There is a widely held view that the Master Planning methods adopted over the last few decades have not produced a satisfactory physical environment. The urban development planning process in the past has been unduly long and has been largely confined to the dealing of land use aspects.

The major criticisms of the Master Plan approach adopted in the country are as follows :
  1. Plan Preparation Techniques: The Master plan details out the urbanized and urbanisable areas under its jurisdiction and suggests land use up to the neighborhood level. The tendency to over-plan the urban environment, with minute detailing, has resulted in lack of flexibility and has hindered individual self-expression.
  2. Plan perspective : The plan projects and ’end state’ scenario for 20-25 years and is not detailed enough for short and medium-terms actions.
  3. Static Plan : The plan is mostly static and not amendable to quick mid-course corrections.
  4. Delays : Inordinate delays in Master Plan preparation and approval and, in addition, difficulty in obtaining possession of land sought to be acquired for the purpose is one of the main handicaps in the speedy and successful implementation of the Master Plan.
  5. Growth of the City : The efficacy of the master Plan is adversely effected by the divergence between the precept and practices concerning the preparation of the Master Plan and its implementation.
  6. Ineffective Public Participation : The mechanism for public participation is ineffective in the process of development planning, in both its preparation and implementation. It is more top-down than a bottom-up approach.
  7. Weak information Base : Master Plan preparation is undertaken with a very weak information base especially on socio-economic parameters, housing and environment.
  8. Impractical Physical standards: The plans prescribe impractical densities and layout high standards in an effort to improve the quality of life in a city. These are generally higher than what the city population, particularly the poor, can afford.
  9. Lack of Financing Plan : Estimates of financial outlay do not match the development works envisaged in the Master Plan. The strategies for raising resources required for plan implementation are never an integral part of the plan.
  10. Spatial Planning vis-à-vis Development Planning : Urban planning in India has been totally over-shadowed by its spatial content instead of realization of social and economic objectives. Town planning exercises have tended to concentrate on physical order and environmental quality of city, and have been isolated from the mainstream of development planning, decision-making and implementation strategies.
  11. Land Policy and Management: The absence of a machinery for systematic and continuous collection of data on the movement of land and tenement prices undermines the implementation of the master Plan.
  12. Private Sector Participation: Through a significant portion of the development is due to the initiative of the private sector, this factor is not recognized in the Plan.
  13. People’s Needs: The Master Plan does not incorporate the exact needs and priorities of the people. Instead of reflecting the aspirations of the community at large, the plan more or less reflects the values of the administrators and planners.
  14. Regulatory mechanism: The regulatory mechanisms in the Master Plan are to enable better management of the city. However, development control mechanisms are observed more in breach than in compliance.
  15. Plan Implementation: The root-cause of the urban maladies has been the divorcing of the plan preparation from plan implementation.
  16. Ineffective plan Monitoring : An Institutional and information system does not, generally, exist for plan monitoring. Since the budgetary system does not explicitly take into account the requirement of plan implementation, problem of resources are not periodically highlighted.
Constitution (74th) Amendment Act.
The Constitution (74th) Amendment Act, 1992 provides for a democratic and participatory planning process so as to incorporate the needs of the people, particularly the poor and socially disadvantaged, in the planning process. The act stipulates the setting up to District planning Committees (DPCs) and Metropolitan Planning Committees (MPCs) for integration of spatial and economic development and rural and urban planning. This is in recognition of the need for integrated regional planning with due attention to regional and local infrastructure, environmental conservation and investment planning and their spatial and other impacts. The DPCs / MPCs need to be constituted under the State Zilla Panchayat / Regional and Town Planning Acts. A three tier planning structure is envisaged in the states – Panchayats / Municipalities level, district and metropolitan level and state level. Under this framework, Panchayats/ Municipalities would prepare plans for their areas which would be consolidated at the district level in the form of draft district development plans. The metropolitan development plan would be prepared by the MPCs. All district and metropolitan development plans would then lead to the formulation of a plan at the state level.

A. District Planning Committee
The constitution of DPCs recognizes the need for integrated regional planning based on the investment patterns, its spatial impact and development. The DPCs should be vested with enough powers to undertake the following functions, besides preparation of draft development plan for the district.
  1. Preparation of draft development plans including spatial plan for the district, keeping in view matters of common interest between Panchayats and municipalities.
  2. Advise and assistance to local bodies in preparation of development plans and its effective implementation.
  3. Coordination and monitoring of the implementation of District Development plans.
  4. Allocation of resources to local bodies for planning and implementation of local level projects contained in the District Development plans.
B. Metropolitan Area planning committee.
The constitution of MPCs in every metropolitan area under Article 243 ZE of the 74th Amendment accords constitutional recognition to metro-regional planning when seen in the context of agglomeration economies, a metro region is the most preferred area for investment in economic activities and infrastructure but these areas are normally deficient in spatial planning inputs. The functions to be assigned to MPC are as follows :
  1. Preparation of draft development plan for the metropolitan areas.
  2. Spatial coordination of plans prepared by the municipalities and panchayats in the metro area and recommending modifications in local area plan, if any taking an overall view.
  3. Advise and assistance to local bodies in preparation of development plans.
  4. Monitoring effective implementation of approved development plan of the region.
  5. Undertaking formulation and implementation of projects involving provision of infrastructure such as major roads, trunk services, electricity, telecommunications, etc.
The 12th Schedule of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act lists the 18 functions of the municipalities which among others include: (I) urban planning including town planning; (ii) regulation of land use and construction of buildings; and (iii) planning for economic and social development. In this regard, the state governments could be more specific and definite in assigning functions to the local bodies, In the absence of clarity in assignment of functions, the State Finance Commission would not be able to assess the fiscal needs of and allocate adequate resources to the municipalities. For a rational integration of spatial and economic development, functions related to spatial and socioeconomic planning and development should be assigned to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). To facilitate the municipalities to discharge these functions, a provision could be made in the State Municipal Acts for devolution of necessary power and authority along with financial resources and manpower. For an effective urban planning system, there is the need to have a package of inter-related plans at three levels namely long-term perspective structure plan (20-25 years) short term integrated infrastructure Development plan (5 year) and Annual Action plan as part of Infrastructure Development plan. The short-term integrated Infrastructure plan and Annual plan could be in the form of “rolling” plans to enable the ULBs to continuously review and monitor the plan, and to update it every year / five years. The aim should be to make urban planning system as a continuous process. Each level of plan must include measures for infrastructure development and environmental conservation:
  1. Perspective Structure Plan : The long-term Perspective Structure Plan could be prepared by the MPCs broadly indicating goals, policies and strategies for spatio-economics development of the urban settlement. The perspective plan may include:
    • Physical characteristics and natural resources:
    • Direction and magnitude of growth and development – area and population (Demography)
    • Arterial / grid road network and mass transit corridors with modular development block.
    • Infrastructure network – water, sewage, drainage, roads, bus and truck terminals, rail network, etc.
    • Broad compatible and mixed land use packages and zones :
    • Community open space system and organization of public spaces :
    • Environmental conservation and preservation of areas of architectural, heritage and and ecological importance ;
    • Major issues and development constraints;
    • Financial estimates and fund flow patterns; and
    • Policy and plans for EWS housing.
  2. Infrastructure Development Plan : Integrated infrastructure Development Plan should be prepared by ULBs in the context of the approved Perspective Plan. The scope of the Plan should cover an assessment of existing situation, prospects and priorities and development including employment generation programs, economic base, transportation and land use, housing and land development, environmental improvement and conservation programs. The development plan may include.
    • Identification of gaps and shortcomings in the delivery of municipal services ;
    • Identification of service and remunerative projects and their prioritisation along with capital budgeting and investment programmes; and
    • Housing and land development programmes, including identification of areas for residential and non-residential development and development of trunk infrastructure.
  3. Action Plan: Within the framework of Development Plan, Annual Action plans for the urban areas should be prepared by the ULBs specifying the projects and schemes with costing and cash flow for both on-going and new projects. The Annual action plan should provide and in-built system for implementation of the Development Plan. In this plan various urban development schemes should be integrated spatially and financially. Annual plan may consist of :
    • targets to be achieved – physical and fiscal;
    • fund flow ; and
    • project design and specification, including tender document for implementation.
  4. Projects and Schemes : As part of the Development plans and Action plans, projects and schemes within towns / cities could be taken up for any area / activity related to housing, commercial centers, industrial areas, social and cultural infrastructure, transport, environment, urban renewal etc. by governmental bodies / local agencies / private sector and through integer-governmental public private-partnership. Such projects could be both long-term and short-term and in conformity with the development requirements of the respective town / city.
Challenges for local bodies :
The existing municipal laws are totally inadequate to enable to ULBs to discharge the new responsibilities delegated to them under the Constitutional (74th Amendment) Act. Although the state governments have amended their municipal Acts, as a follow - up of the 74th Amendment, the amended acts do not specifically assign functions to the local bodies especially urban including town planning. The following measures may be undertaken to enable the ULBs to serve as agencies for plan preparation, enforcement and implementation:
  1. Clear division of functional responsibilities and linkage among different levels of government to ensure upward and downward accountability and to enable the SFCs in their constitutional task of devolution of funds to ULBs.
  2. Division of municipal functions into essential functions, agency functions, and joint functions with state and central governments.
  3. Avoiding the traditional distinction between ‘obligatory’ and ‘discretionary’ functions since such classification results in uncertainties and non-transparent system of municipal accountability.
  4. Essential functions of municipalities to include urban planning, including town planning regulation of land use and construction of buildings and planning for economics and social development and amendments to the Municipal Acts.
As an effective alternative, the authority to prepare urban development plans may be placed with municipalities under the town and country planning laws. The planning functions could be undertaken by the municipalities under the state Town and Country planning Act in states where such power has not been provided in the Municipal Acts. A standing planning Committee may be constituted to assist the ULBs in this task and the members of the committee could include representatives of elected members, administrators and professional experts. The chairman of the local authority could head the standing planning committee and the municipal Town Planner could be the member secretary.

It is necessary to build effective legislative support for the preparation of 3-tier Development plans discussed earlier. The Town & Country planning Acts would have to be modified to incorporate formulation of these plans along-with their definition, scope and contents, provision could be made in the Act to empower the state Town and Country Planning Department to prepare and get approved the perspective plan and / or Development plan, following the prescribed procedure at the cost of the concerned in case of failure by the ULBs to initiate actions to prepare the Plans within the stipulated time period.

The efficiency in approval of plans could be increased by providing a clause in the Act allowing for automatic approval in situations where the approval or rejection with reasons, is not communicated within the stipulated time by the appropriate authority. The local authority should carry out the modifications suggested by the Town Planning Department and re-submit the modified plan. But at the same time, undisputed sections / part of the draft Development plan could be processed, got approved and implemented.. Provision could be made for approval of Annual Plans by the local authority and that of the projects and schemes formulated in accordance with the approved development plan and Development Promotion Rules, by the Municipal Town Planners with appropriate accountability. The notice of preparation of development plan may be linked with section 4 of the land acquisition Act. 1984 in the municipal / Town planning Acts so that any land required for compulsory acquisition is notified as per the Act. Consequently compensation for land would be as on the date of the publication of the draft Development Plan and this would minimize the speculative elements. Similarly, the publication of the notice of the final development plan may be linked with section 6 declaration under the Act. Appropriate legal support to the land assembly efforts of the private sector should be provided to facilitate private sector participation in the implementation process.

Development plans, in the past, were prepared in the context of centralized planning. This context is changing in the era of liberalization where cities have to identify their competitive advantage for growth and development. Decentralization of development planning to the local level, under the constitutional (74th Amendment) Act, bring with it the responsibility of resource and financial management.

For a more dynamic urban planning exercise, the following modifications in the planning approach are recommended :
  1. Flexibility : Plans must have flexibility to provide for ever-growing and ever-expanding city boundaries and provide quality of life to all inhabitants. The plan should be flexible to respond not only to the present needs but, also, the changing conditions in foreseeable, future.
  2. Role of Actors : People’s participation in preparation of policies, perspective plan, development plan and annual plans should be ensured through elected representatives in the municipal council / corporation and ward committees.
  3. Information system : A well maintained information system can make possible the fine-tuning of the plan proposals at the various stages of implementation of the plan according to the changing urban scenario.
  4. Urbanisable Areas : The development potential may be assessed for the areas located in the periphery of the developed areas. A profile of the development potential and the possibility of optimizing the existing infrastructure should determine the prioritisation of development of these areas.
  5. Growth Centers : Given the paucity of resources, it would be more feasible and desirable to promote strategic development initiatives in the selected secondary cities, growth center and their hinterlands. In the growth centers, the location of infrastructural and environmental services could form the ‘core’ of the Development Plan.
  6. Policy Guidelines : Policy guidelines notified under law, can help in identifying priority areas, subsequent modifications in the plans and administration, in general.
  7. Mixed Land Use: With a view to provide for development, the zoning regulations need to be simplified. The land use package should not be allowed to be changed by any authority, except as a part of the review of the Development Plan at the city / town level.
  8. Financial Planning: Land development and infrastructure investment need to be coordinated through integration of physical, financial and investment planning. There is the need to link spatial development plan with resource mobilization plan focusing on credit enhancement mechanisms.
  9. Services and Environment : City plans which provide for up-gradation of the services for greater equity in the availability of water, sewerage and sanitation throughout the city, would have a higher probability of success.
  10. Needs of the informal sector : The plan must provide for and cater to the needs of the informal sector so as to make them as an integral part of the city development process.
  11. Land Policy and Management : As opposed to the process of compulsory land acquisition, and the related issue of low compensation rates, the ULBs should adopt collaborative approaches within the existing legal framework.
  12. Legal Framework : Plan implementation would call for a legal framework so as to make it enforceable and mandatory. The legal framework has to be supported by an effective and efficient machinery which would see that no distortion of master plan proposals take place at the ground level.
  13. Standards : Plot sizes, layout and social overheads need to be designed to reduce costs aligned to the affordability of different income groups and also the sale price for lower income groups can be reduced by differential pricing.
  14. Building Bye-laws : Building bye laws and zoning regulations for the city / town should match the local needs. However, the existing bye-laws need to be simplified and transparent, and there should not be an aliment of discretion. Adequate provision for parking facilities should be made.
  15. Database at Metropolitan, district and state levels : The planning exercise need continuous data collection, analysis interpretation and updating of data. A computer-generated data base and information system in GIS environment should be developed at various levels which would provide support to planners in development planning.
  16. Simplification of measure and Procedures : The preparation of Development plans should be completed within a period of 12 months and should be approved within 3 months after the plan approval and the total period for preparation and approval should not exceed 18 months. The approval authority of Development plans should be the ULB, in consultation with the Director of Town planning departments. The perspective plan could also be approved by the state Government through Directorate of Town Planning.
  17. Strengthening Planning Mechanism and Institution : The Town and Country planning acts need to be modified to enable the formulation of inter-elated plans by specifying the definition, scope and contents of various plans.
The administrative, technical, managerial and financial capacity of the ULBs need to be strengthened.

The ULBs and the town planning departments should work under the same state department for better coordination.

The cost recovery procedures and revenue collection methods of ULBs need to be strengthened.

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