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Land Pooling Technique : A tool for plan implementation - An Indian experience

4. Town Planning Scheme

4.1 The conventional approach to land acquisition, even for public purpose, has become a time consuming process. Sometimes it leads to unending litigation and encourage speculative tendencies. The acquisition process besides being time consuming also becomes cost prohibitive while on the other hand the owners, whose lands are acquired, feel that they have not been adequately compensated. The Town Planning Scheme is being followed as an alternative method to assemble the land for urban development activities in a faster and financially affordable manner without taking recourse to compulsory acquisition of land. Town Planning Scheme (TPS) is in operation in some of the states of Indian Union in the form of plot reconstitution. It is basically an area planning technique patterned on the concept of land re-adjustment. In the state of Maharashtra, which is a pioneer in the field of TPS it is implemented under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966. In Gujarat, it is implemented under the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976.

4.2 In Gujarat, Town Planning Schemes as an instrument for urban development has a long history. The first Town Planning Scheme was taken up as early as in 1917 for Jamalpur area of Ahmedabad city. Perhaps Jamalpur area Town Planning Scheme was also the first TPS in the country. The Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915 provided for growth and development of various parts of the city which facilitated taking up Town Planning Schemes. The Act was modified and re-enacted in 1954 which made it obligatory for each local authority to carry out a survey of the area within its jurisdiction for preparation of development plan. With the re-organization of states in India in 1956, Gujarat was carved out as a separate state. After re-organization the state government enacted a separate Law known as the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976. This Act provides for Town Planning Scheme in detail. Under this Act the Town Planning Scheme is divided into 2 parts namely physical planning of the scheme and financial aspects of the scheme. It identifies the stages of TPS in the form of Draft Scheme. It identifies the stages of TPS in the form of Draft Scheme, Preliminary Scheme and the Final Scheme with a view to expedite the process of implementation of different stages.

4.3 Legal provisions for TPS in the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act envisage a socialistic and transparent approach for preparation and implementation of Town Planning Schemes. The concept of TPS is akin to land pooling technique in which lands of different owners is pooled together and after proper planning the same is re-distributed in a properly reconstituted plots after deducting the land required for open spaces, social infrastructure, services, housing for the weaker section and street network. The process enables the local planning authority to develop the commonly pooled land without compulsorily acquiring the same. It facilitates the freedom of planning and design and the control on the growth and development. The practice of TPS is extensively in use in the Gujarat State.

4.4 In order to implement the Master Plan / Development Plan prepared under the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act, 1976, Town Planning Schemes are prepared at micro level for an area of about 100 hectares particularly in those pockets which are under pressure of urban development and need priority attention. The concept behind taking 100 hectares is that TPS becomes manageable and viable scheme for preparation and implementation at local level. The scheme is conceptualized as a joint venture between the local authority and the owners of land who voluntarily agree to pool their land, redistribute the reconstituted plots of land among themselves and share the development cost. For preparation of scheme land parcels with common ownership are marked with original survey number / plot number on a map. All such original plots form one area for planning purpose. In the layout plan taking out the area for roads and streets and public and semi-public spaces the remaining area is planned in regular plots known as final plots. The final plots though reduced in size better in shape, buildability and accessibility are allocated to the land owners preferably in close proximity to their original plots. The owner also gets compensation for the area reduced for public spaces and roads. Since the reconstituted plot has the better accessibility and good potential for development, its value gets enhanced. The difference between enhanced value and the original value is liable to get. Part of such increment in land value is contributed for the cost of development work in the scheme. Under the Act it is clearly provided that the landowners will get the net amount of the increment value of the plot worked out after deducting the amount of compensation payable for the loss in area.

4.5 As part of the stages of TPS in the first stage a draft scheme is as indicated in the figure -

A development authority selects an area for planning Town Planning Scheme and boundary of the same is demarcated on the map

The draft is prepared after undertaking detailed and accurate total station survey to mark the land boundary, existing physical features of the site including topography, slope, plot boundaries, existing structure etc. Along with survey data is collected from revenue record to establish ownership of land. After that a base map is prepared incorporating the proposal of Master Plan/Development Plan for the identified site of TPS. For planning purpose adjacent plot with the same owner are grouped together as one original plot. A map showing original plots is then prepared as indicted in the figure

Once the map of the original plot is ready value of the original plot is assessed on the basis of recent transaction recorded in the adjoining areas. Keeping in view the proposal of the Development Plan recorded in the draft map layout plan and road network providing access to all the plots in the area is designed.

In the layout plan proportion of land likely to be deducted from each original plot for the provision of roads, public space, social infrastructure is worked out and the remaining area is reconstituted giving proper shape so as to locate the final plot nearer to the original plot.

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