TOWN PLANNING AND VALUATION
TOWN PLANNING AND VALUATION DEPARTMENT
The Maharashtra State has an independent Town Planning and Valuation Department under the administrative control of the Urban Development, Public Health and Housing Department.
This department came into existence in the year 1914 with the Consulting Surveyor to Government, Pune, now designated as the Director of Town Planning, Maharashtra State, as its head. The department, as its name indicates, principally deal's with the important subject of town planning and valuation of real properties. Some of the important duties and functions of this department as stipulated by Government are as under: —
Duties and Functions of the Department.— Town Planning: (1) To prepare the regional plans, development plans and town planning schemes under the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, which has come into force in the State with effect from 11th January, 1967.
(2) To render assistance to the municipal authorities in the preparation of development plans and town planning schemes in the shape of advice, as well as loan of the services of technical personnel for the preparation of development plans, draft town planning schemes', etc.
(3) To perform the duties of the Town Planning Officers and Arbitrators, when so appointed by Government under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, to carry out surveys to prepare existing land use plans and development plans to scrutinise development or building permission cases, to tender advice to the Tribunal of Appeal and to draw up final town planning schemes, to work as members of the Regional Planning Boards, constituted by Government and to prepare regional plans.
(4) To advise Government on all matters regarding town and country planning including legislation.
(5) To advise and prepare town development, improvement,
extension and slum clearance schemes under the Municipal Acts.
(6) To prepare development schemes or layouts of—
(i) lands belonging to Government,
(ii) lands of co-operative housing societies and
(iii) lands of private bodies with the sanction of Government.
(7) To prepare village layouts for extension of old village gaothan and new village gaothan sites.
(8) To advise the Government on housing, slum clearance, regional planning and prevention of ribbon development including legislation.
(9) To prepare type designs for the housing of the middle and poorer classes including Harijans.
(10) To scrutinise miscellaneous building permission cases and
layouts received from the Collectors and to recommend suitable
building regulations for adoption in the areas concerned.
Valuation: The Director of Town Planning is the chief expert adviser of Government on this subject and his duties under this heading include—
(1) valuation of agricultural and non-agricultural lands and
properties in towns and villages belonging to Government and
intended for the purposes of sale or lease;
(2) valuation of Government properties for the purpose of
rating under the Provincial Municipal Corporation Act and to
function as the Authorised Valuation Officer for finalisation of
the lists of assessment of all the properties in municipal towns
submitted by the chief officers under the provisions of the
Maharashtra Municipalities Act, 1965;
(3) valuation for miscellaneous purposes such as cantonment
leases, probate or stamp duty, etc.;
(4) valuation for the purposes of fixing standard rates of non-agricultural assessment and prescribing zones of values in all villages and rising localities in the vicinity of important and growing towns;
(5) valuation for the purposes of fixing standard table of ground rents and land values in respect of lands in cantonments;
(6) scrutiny of awards of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894;
(7) supplying trained technical assistants to do duty as Special Land Acquisition Officers in important towns where the land acquisition work is of a very important and responsible nature;
(8) giving expert evidence when called upon to do so in the District Courts and High Court when appeals are lodged against the awards of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act; and
(9) undertaking valuation work on behalf of Railways and other departments of the Central Government and private bodies with the sanction of Government on payment of fees, etc.
Miscellaneous: (1) To advise the various heads of departments of Government in the selection of sites required for public purposes.
(2) To see that all town planning schemes or layouts sanctioned by Government are properly executed (within a reasonable period or periods fixed in the schemes, and
(3) To advise Government as regards interpretation, amendment of or addition to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966, or rules thereunder.
Regional Planning: The statutory powers regarding planning were embodied under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915, which was in force till its replacement by the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954. The Act of 1954 generally incorporated the provisions of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915, and in addition made obligatory on every local authority (barring village panchayats) to prepare development plan for the entire area within its jurisdiction.
The Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954, applied to lands included within the municipal limits only and therefore there was no provision for exercising proper and effective control over the planning and development of land in peripherial areas outside the municipal limits which were growing in an irregular and haphazard manner. The evil results of such uncontrolled growth and development have already become apparent in the vast areas outside Greater Bombay and Pune and other important urban centres. It was considered that the only way to tackle adequately these evil effects arising out of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation would be by resorting to regional planning for areas around the metropolitan centres like Bombay, Pune and Nagpur and by developing counter magnets for the disposal and reallocation of both industries and population within the region.
There was no statutory power under the Act of 1954 for the preparation of regional plans which has, therefore, been repealed and replaced by the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966. The Act came into force in the State with effect from 11th January, 1967. This Act provided for the establishment of regions and constitution of Regional Planning Boards for the preparation of regional plans, designation of sites for new towns, establishment of development authorities to create new towns, preparation of development plans for the municipal areas and town planning schemes for execution of the sanctioned development plans.
The scope of the regional plans for an urban region consists of the formation of a policy for guidance and control of development within the region in such a manner that—
(i) land be used for the best purposes for which it is most suitable, e.g., residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, etc., having regard to both public and private interests;
(ii) adequate means of communications be provided for traffic throughout the region;
(iii) building development be concentrated in areas where adequate public utility services can be supplied economically;
(iv) ample areas be reserved as open spaces;
(v) amenities and countryside be protected including preservation of landscape; and
(vi) preservation of historical monuments, etc.
Thus in short, the object of the regional plan is to regulate development so as to maintain a proper balance between buildings and open spaces and secure healthy and economic urban growth.
Organisation — The department as stated above, was started in the year 1914 with the Consulting Surveyor to Government (now designated as the Director of Town Planning, Maharashtra State, Pune) as its head who was later on given the assistance of one Assistant Consulting Surveyor to Government (now designated as the Deputy Director of Town Planning), one Deputy Assistant Consulting Surveyor to Government (now designated as the Assistant Director of Town Planning), and two Senior Assistants (now designated as Town Planners) with the requisite staff. As the activities of this department increased, these Assistants had to be posted at prominent places in the State to attend the work of town planning, valuation, etc., very essentially required in and around the towns and cities. There has been a tremendous increase in the activities of the department in recent years with the consequential increase in the number of branch offices in the State. This department also spares officers to work in the awards section of Revenue and Forests department to scrutinise the land acquisition awards in the Bombay Collectorate to deal mainly with valuation work in Bombay, and in the rural housing cell of the Rural Development and Co-operation department to prepare layouts of villages included in the schemes of that department. Officers of this department are also called upon to give expert evidence in the Courts in acquisition references and are also appointed to function as Arbitrators to finalise the draft town planning schemes prepared by the planning authorities. They also work as part time Special Land Acquisition Officers at Pune, Solapur, Ahmadnagar, Satara, etc.
Consequent upon the reorganisation of States on 1st November, 1956, Bhandara district was included within the jurisdiction of the branch office at Nagpur with the Assistant Director of Town Planning as the head of the office. The framing and execution of town planning schemes and the development of the areas within municipal limits was being regulated under the Central Provinces and Berar Town Planning Act till 1st May, 1965 since when the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954, was extended to the Vidarbha
region. The Act of 1954 has been repealed and replaced by the Maharashtra
Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, which came into force from 11th January,
1967. According to the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning
Act, 1966, it is obligatory upon every municipal council, termed in the Act as a
planning authority, to carry out survey, prepare an existing land use map and prepare and publish a development plan for the entire area within its jurisdiction. There are in all five municipal councils, viz., Bhandara, Gondia, Tumsar, Paoni and Tirora in the district. Out of these, the draft development plan of Tumsar has heen prepared and published in April 1966. The draft development plan of Bhandara was also prepared but the municipal council did not publish the same. The municipal council was, therefore, advised to make a resolution declaring its intention to prepare the development plan under Section 4 (1) of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954. Similarly, the Gondia Municipal Council also declared its intention to prepare the development plan under Section 23 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, and it has, with prior approval of Government, appointed Town Planning Officers.
A number of layouts in respect of the Government lands in the Bhandara district were prepared and necessary advise was given to the revenue authorities in respect of valuation of Government lands either to be leased out, sold or granted. Besides, a number of cases regarding grant of nazul lands, grant of building permissions, grant of no objection certificates for cinema purposes and establishment of petrol pumps, etc., were dealt with and remarks were offered to local revenue authorities.