The state government is planning to “outsource” the task of preparing development plans for smaller urban centres in Maharashtra because of staff shortage in the town planning department, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.
Fadnavis, who held meetings with different departments on development issues in Vidarbha throughout the day, said there were 16 to 20 cities in the state without any regional urban development plans. The town planning department cannot prepare development plans for such small cities because of inadequate staff, leading to the emergence of illegal layouts and colonies, he said. “How can we allow a city to grow without proper planning?”
“There are many disparities in Maharashtra’s urban development policy. Take, for instance, the different floor space index (FSI) in different cities. My attempt would be to remove such disparities,” he said.
He said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and not just Mumbai, needs more attention and announced his idea of converting the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), a parallel civic authority in Nagpur, into the Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority, on the lines of MMRDA in Mumbai.
On the issue of the white paper on the state’s financial status, Fadnavis said, “Maybe this document will be more in the nature of a status report, unlike a white paper, which, could show the state in bad light.” The proposed status report will be made public and evaluate the current state of the economy while suggesting a future course, he added.
On the Vidarbha issue, he said, “Even if we form the government with Shiv Sena’s support, it does not mean we cannot take up the demand for creation of a separate state of Vidarbha. That is the Centre’s prerogative, and I am sure my party will take the right decision on Vidarbha at the right time because as a party, the BJP has taken a pledge to create smaller states for better development.”
Reacting to cabinet colleague Eknath Khadse’s purported comment that backward classes wanted a CM from their community, he said, “I haven’t heard the comment but since he proposed my name for the CM’s post, there are no differences.”