Regional governments, in an effort to develop cities and towns in an organized form, come up with their own development plans. To carry out the proposed plans, however, the government would need to acquire land it doesn’t own currently. This is where TPS - or Town Planning Schemes - come in.
Under a TPS, the government ‘pools’ land from different private landowners on a micro level, and repurposes it so as to develop the area to incorporate infrastructure such as roads, affordable housing, parks, and other public facilities.
By readjusting land use with the concept of land pooling, the government is able to utilize land in a manner that reflects planning in line with its development plans.
Why are Town Planning Schemes Implemented?
Besides being a tool for the implementation of development plans in an area, TP Schemes have a lot of tangible benefits, such as:
- TPS enables a wider range of road networks
- By pooling and redistributing land, the government is able to develop the area without having to actually acquire the land
- Upon completion of the scheme, the value of the land is increased - this offsets the costs invested in terms of infrastructure development as well.
Successful implementation of TPS is in the best interest of both citizens, and the government. Landowners in the area benefit from the increased value of land, in addition to amenities provided by the government. They are also duly compensated for loss of land area for infrastructure construction (such as roads).
For states where there is a lack of implementation of a mechanism such as TPS, the government has to resort to acquiring land en masse under the Land Acquisition Act, under which landowners have to be compensated for their land based on market value. The government then develops the land as planned, and sells the serviced plots at the market price. This process is both time consuming, and expensive. Both of these issues are directly addressed by TPS.
Brief History of Town Planning in Gujarat
In India, Gujarat stands out as the most successful example of TPS implementation in the country. Implementation of Town Planning Schemes in Gujarat dates back to the Bombay Town Planning Act (1915), which enabled local authorities in certain parts of the city to come up with and implement their own town planning schemes. At the time, Gujarat was a part of the Bombay Presidency. The first town planning scheme in Gujarat was implemented in Jamalpur back in 1917.
The Town Planning Act of 1915, however, did not extend to all parts of the city. The Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954, addressed this issue and expanded coverage. After the bifurcation of the Bombay State into Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960, town planning in Gujarat was standardized in the The Gujarat Town Planning & Urban Development Act, 1976. The Act empowers the state government to recognize, identify and delineate the areas that have potential for development.
An overview of the implementation status for TPS in Gujarat, as sourced from the Town Planning and Valuation Department, Government of Gujarat, for select districts is given below:
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