The real estate boom on the outskirts of Dehradun has been taking its toll on the region, with builders attracting buyers with the promise of providing urban accommodations in the vicinity of the hills.
Waking up to the threat posed by unplanned urbanisation in the area, the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) is all set to bring 10 villages on the outskirts of Dehradun under the overall Master Plan 2025 – which earmarks various land use categories.
The MDDA, a local decision-making agency, cleared the draft master plan for 10 villages outside Doon that fall in the plains (see box) at a board meeting held last week. The draft, prepared by the town and country planning department, will now be thrown open for opinions and objections from the public, after which it will be finalised.
MDDA secretary Prakash Chandra Dumka said land use in these villages was not defined because they were not a part of the master plan. This led to haphazard development in some cases, he added.
“Also, those interested in undertaking construction for any project in these areas had to apply directly to the state government. The process (of clearance) used to take a lot of time due to a lack of clarity on the area’s land use. The process will now ensure quick approval of projects that comply with set norms for a particular area,” Dumka said.
Besides this, work is also being undertaken to bring an equal number of villages falling in hilly areas near Doon (see box) under the master plan. A survey of these villages has been completed by the MDDA, and data provided to the town and country planning department for preparing the draft master plan, Dumka said.
As many as 185 villages and two municipal areas – Dehradun and Mussoorie – fall under the MDDA’s jurisdiction.
A section of local residents, however, fear that the process of bringing the villages under the master plan may remain “a mere eyewash” because the MDDA has allegedly failed to implement it so far. “There has been a tremendous pressure on the existing urban infrastructure in the city, forcing construction activities to expand into the villages on outskirts. Why didn’t the MDDA make a master plan for these villages earlier? Anyway, we hope this initiative works out,” said local activist Ravindra Jugran.
However, MDDA secretary Dumka said the draft plan for these areas was not prepared earlier (when the original master plan was being created) because “there was hardly any development in those locations at that time”.