The state assembly passed a legislation on Thursday amending the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act to pave the way for horizontal growth of cities.
The bill, already cleared by the upper house, was tabled by minister of state for urban development Bhaskar Jadhav.
The bill allows developers or individuals to develop townships in areas adjoining the cities. This is not allowed currently since there is no development plan for the same, like in major cities.
Under the amendments, the landowners can develop the area with the permission of the authority (municipal body or area development authority). The authority will develop infrastructure for the area such as roads, civic amenities and water supply, and hand over half of the development area to the owners.
A senior official from the urban development department said: “This would help planned development in areas neighbouring cities, as cities are getting more and more congested. The amendment would set off growth of several cities in Maharashtra. In the past 100 years, only 45 area development schemes were cleared in the state since there were legal roadblocks, which have now been removed.”
The cities can now expand faster, and time-bound development can be expected, because of the provisions in the legislation. “An interesting aspect of the legislation is that the local authority can start developing infrastructure immediately after the proposal is submitted, since the area meant for providing amenities would immediately come under them,” he said.
The legislation will now be sent to the President for approval since it has references to the Land Acquisition Act, which is a central legislation.