PMRDA chief on why town planning schemes are a win-win for everyone involved
Kiran Gitte, metropolitan commissioner of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) speaks about the salient features of the proposed Mhalunge town planning scheme. Excerpts from his interview with Abhay Khairnar.pune Updated: Mar 22, 2018 15:24 IST
Kiran Gitte, metropolitan commissioner of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) speaks about the salient features of the proposed Mhalunge town planning scheme. Excerpts from his interview with Abhay Khairnar.
Why did the PMRDA decide to use town planning schemes for regional development in Pune?
The scheme is the best option for development at the moment and is also a win-win situation for everyone involved. Land acquisition is critical for development projects. Due to the ever-rising cost of land, planning authorities often cannot acquire enough land to provide basic infrastructure. Urban bodies are hardly able to execute development plans and most of these plans often go unfinished.This is why PMRDA decided to execute the town planning scheme along with the ring road project. It will help authorities acquire land free of cost for development projects and the land owners also reap the benefits of the infrastructure and development. Since PMRDA can acquire land for free under the scheme, it is a cost effective way to carry out development plans and projects.
What benefits do land owners receive under the scheme?
The most important feature of the scheme is that land owners become stakeholders in the project. Normally, after land is acquired, owners are rehabilitated, but under this scheme, they do not need to shift or move elsewhere. Moreover, state agencies do all the administrative work, which would otherwise be expensive and time consuming; such as changing the plot from an agriculture zone to a residential zone, free of cost. Since all the administrative work is taken care of, land owners will not have to worry about the various legalities around new constructions. Under the scheme, the planning authority does all the necessary administrative work and the owner receives the final plot. PMRDA is looking to bring in investors for the scheme, which will greatly benefit land owners. PMRDA will also be giving additional Floor Space Index (FSI) to land owners.This means that for every piece of land we acquire, the owners will receive additional FSI as compensation.
Why was the Mhalunge town plan chosen to be the first area to be developed under the scheme?
The Hinjewadi IT park is currently facing constant traffic snarls. To sort out the issue, a new road was proposed from Mhalnje side, but it turned out to be unfeasible because of the high land acquisition costs. Keeping this in mind, the PMRDA decided to execute the town planning scheme in Mhalunge and incentivise all plot owners to come together and contribute to the scheme. The PMRDA can therefore solve the major traffic issue and build an alternate road for Hinjewadi residents while getting land free of cost. There are almost 7,000 plot owners in the Mhalunge town ship and almost 90 per cent of them have agreed to the scheme so far. The PMRDA has also prepared plans for the scheme and have submitted it for the approval from the town planning director of Maharashtra.
When will the work on the Mhalunge township begin?
The work will begin once PMRDA receives the approval from the town planning director. PMRDA also has plans to market the scheme to investors so that the areas are further developed.
What are the challenges to the town planning scheme?
The main challenge is to convince land owners about the benefits of the scheme. The PMRDA arranges continuous meetings with land owners to clear all their doubts. The PMRDA is transparent and keeps the maps open to all. Another challenge is the speed of execution. There is a need to convince the town planning department about the viability of the scheme so that we can quickly receive all the necessary approvals. Ahmedabad city had executed almost 70 such schemes in 10 years. Pune has a history of town planning schemes and the Deccan Gymkhana was developed along the same line. Even Magarpatta city is an example of a town planning scheme which was executed by a private person. Keeping this history in mind and the opportunities that the scheme presents, it is surely a win-win for everyone.