Determined to make its plans to develop new townships on the fringes of cities and areas such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region a reality, the state government has decided to amend the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966, next week.
The amendment aims at encouraging townships by providing all infrastructure to private lands pooled by landowners.
The bill will be on the lines of an amendment carried out by the Gujarat government in 1999. It is likely to be tabled before the state legislature in the coming monsoon session.
The scheme is being looked upon as an alternative to private townships promoted by developers, where there is no guarantee of infrastructure development or revenue generation for the government.
Planning authorities such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) will take up the job of creating such townships.
It will involve the planning authority creating urban layouts, providing civic infrastructure to a certain area where land has been pooled by various landowners.
The owners, on the other hand, will get developed land as well as compensation for the land lost to infrastructure. In exchange, they have to pay the planning authority 50% of the incremental cost of the land after development.
The planning authority also retains right over 15% of the developed land, which it can auction later to generate revenues.
In its new avatar, the scheme will have a deadline of three-and-a-half years.
Also, instead of waiting for the final notification to be issued, the planning authority will take over the land required for infrastructure.
It will then start building roads, sewerage and storm water drains as soon as the draft of the town planning scheme is notified.
“Once infrastructure is created, there is a visible change in the region and its value increases. Landowners will also have no complaints then. The state is looking at implementing such townships in fringes of all cities,” said a senior official of the Urban Development Department (UDD).
The state plans to introduce this even in areas where the development plan has not been passed.
During Ashok Chavan’s tenure as chief minister, the state’s UDD had got this amendment cleared by the cabinet and had sent the ordinance for approval to the Centre.
However, it was sent back with a suggestion that the state first pass a law to the effect in the state legislature.
The UDD is keen on this amendment as efforts to develop metropolitan areas through private players as special townships or mega cities has had limited success.