IntroductionPlanning and regulatory proceduresare generally required to incorporate control in land use development while conformingto a master plan (Clarke, 1995). This also constitutes a legal andadministrative framework that regulates planning and development in theinterest of the society at large.
In most of the cases, process of planning isan interrelation of multiple government and privatized public-sectororganizations, which makes planning a pandemonium process of power andpolitical will. Implementations of planning regulations therefore, benefitssome while affects others. With increasing trends ofurbanization and rapid population growth, urban land use planning has becomeone of the most important aspect of development control and regulations. Thepurpose of an effective and just regulatory system, hence, becomes crucial tomaintain a balance between the public-private dichotomy as well as to executein the social and economic interest of the people. Case of IndiaWith a population of a little over1.3 billion, India constitutes as one of the world’s densest democracycomprising of 29 states and 7 union territories (Figure 2).
Due to immenseurbanization and population growth in major urban areas, India is currently undergoingchallenges in planning and development regulations. Evolution of the Indian AdministrationSystemIndian origin dates back to the Vedic period and theIndus valley civilization which provides the basis of an organized urban life andtown planning system since the ancient period, as well as the existence oflocal administration system wherein, an appointed officer was tasked to executevarious functions of city administration (Aijaz, 2007). Since then the Indian regionhas been under the control of various sultanates and empires before theestablishment of the British colonial rule and has undergone multipletransformations in its administration system as well as various shifts in thedistribution of power at the national and local levels. The major change in the Indianadministration system was seen during the British rule wherein, the entire Indianregion was divided into various princely states that were each under thesupervision of a local ruler appointed by the British authorities who over-viewedthe administrative and legislative functions of their assigned region. Thesystem followed a centralized approach, in which the final authoritarian anddecision-making power was held by the British officials. However, this createda number of issues in the inefficiency of managing all state and local levelfunctions which led to a shift in reforming the authority and change in thepower structure, thus, leading to the beginning of a decentralized planningsystem. After gaining independence from the British rule in 1947 and theformation of a federal Constitution of India, the administrative systemcontinued with the town planning system framed by the British while adapting toa three-tier system of legislation with decentralization of power, authority,functions and funds (Aijaz, 2007) at the Union, State and Local levels.
Every State thus, has its ownmunicipal act, empowered by the Central Government, that decides the functions,structure and powers associated with the local governments (Aijaz, 2007) specifiedwithin the system of the Five-Year Plans. Due to the varying character andnature of difference between the urban and rural areas, the administrativesystem at the local level is further divided into Urban and Rural legislations,also called the Municipality and Panchayat, respectively (Figure 3). Under thelegislation of the Urban Municipality, three systems of legislation andplanning, i.
e., District Council, Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council areestablished which perform the administrative functions at the sectors of district,city and town, respectively. At the urban level, the city area is furtherdivided into wards with respective ruling body appointed by the localgovernment to further regulate roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, theRural Panchayat embodies a three-tier system of administration, with thePanchayat as the main governing body of a rural area, Tehsils being the intermediatebody of governance, while the Gram Panchayat functions within each sector atthe village level. Along with the Constitutionalframework of legislation and assignment of various roles and responsibilities,the legal administration in India follows the Common Law model that has beenprevalent since the British Rule, which administers regulations of socialjustice in the country (Srikrishna, 2008). The model of legal hierarchy assignsthe major deciding power to the Supreme Court at the national level, High Courtat each state level and a District Court of Appeal at the local level.
Therefore,challenges at every level of the administrative system is addressed by itsrespective legal body. Administrative Framework for Planningand DevelopmentThe Constitution of India assignedvarious functions and responsibilities at each level of administration and setup the main organizational framework in the planning regulations system ofIndia as illustrated in Figure 4 by Routray (1993). Planning Commission of theGovernment of India and the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) wereestablished at the Union Government level that provide policy guidelines andlegislations for urban planning and development in the country at the nationallevel (Mahadevia, Joshi and Sharma, 2009) as well as state level funding toundertake various urban development programmes. At the State level, a Town PlanningAct undertaken by the Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO) administersa legal framework and is accountable for housing, governance and planning forthe respective state (Biswas, 2016) along with the department for Housing andUrban Development Corporation (HUDCO) that also aids the government on specificissues of housing regulations. The members of the Town Planning department are mainlyresponsible for the creation of Development Plans that outline the basicland-use zones and formulates respective guidelines and policies to be followedfor development in each zone. The Local Government, usually electedby the people, undertakes planning and development for the urban and ruralregions, while also being responsible in devising city level plans as well asissuing development permits and implementations (Biswas, 2016).
Differentplanning agencies at the local level adopt regulatory mechanisms pertaining tothe needs and requirements of the region. Thus, planning regulations anddevelopment under local governments in India, varies depending on the region,people, urban growth, and land use, among other various factors.Land Use DevelopmentLand in India has beenunder private ownership since ancient times. There are two main urban landdevelopment systems as described by Mahadevia, Joshi and Sharma (2009):(1) Landacquisition System, that enables government agencies to purchase land from theoriginal owner against a fixed compensation, in order to develop the land forpublic purpose(2) Landpooling system, in which, land is redeveloped with infrastructure facilitiesunder the Town Planning Scheme (TPS) and returned back to the original owner thatproves as a favorable investment as the overall value of the land increases.The States of Maharashtraand Gujarat mostly comply with the Land Pooling System as compared to otherstates that follow the Land acquisition system. Planning andDevelopment in the Mumbai Metropolitan RegionUnder the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act (MRTP)of 1996, the state of Maharashtra formed metropolitan regions to easegovernance and regulation as well as to divide the state level planning anddevelopment functions between various local bodies. One such metropolitan isthe Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) (Figure 5), India’s largest urbanagglomeration with an area of almost 4000 square kilometers, located on theWest coast of Maharashtra, consisting of five Districts (Figure 6), eightMunicipal corporations and nine Municipal Councils (MMRDA, 2016). The MMR follows a polycentric governance system in whichmultiple independent public organizations, at the local level,are responsible for development and planning (Pethe, Gandhi and Tandel, 2011).
The two major organizations are the (1) Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai(MCGM), which is the urban local body for the two districts of Mumbai City andMumbai Suburban, and (2) Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority(MMRDA), which is the main municipality and planning body for MMR (ibid.). The governance of the MMRregion is under the administration of the Mumbai Metropolitan RegionalDevelopment Authority (MMRDA), established in 1975.
The main responsibilitiesas defined in the report published by MMRDA in 2016 include preparing, fundingand executing regional development plans, promoting infrastructure plans andschemes relating to transport, housing, water supply and environment, providingstrategic frameworks for sustainable growth and improving the overall qualityof life for its people. However, being apolycentric governance system, a multitude of other agencies were also set upsuch as the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), SlumRehabilitation Authority (SRA) under the housing departments, Maharashtra StateRoad Development Corporation (MSRDC) for major infrastructure related projectsand several other Port Trusts, Airport Authority, National Highway Authorityand the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation for the state and local railwaydevelopment (Pethe, Gandhi and Tandel, 2011). Apart from these agencies, thefive districts under the MMR (Figure 7) have their own Municipal Corporations,among which, the largest is the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai whichcombines the two districts of Mumbai City and Suburban and has been undergoingmajor land development in the urban areas since the last few years. MunicipalCorporation of Greater MumbaiMumbai, the capital cityof Maharashtra, has witnessed high population growth rates and depleting landresources since the last few years (Pethe, Nallathiga, Gandhi and Tandel,2014). Mumbai, initially consisted of seven islands that were merged graduallythrough land reclamation to form the current peninsula of almost 440 square kilometersthat is under the administration of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai(MCGM).
For ease of regulation and administration, the city has been furtherdivided into 24 wards (Figure 8) under the jurisdiction of the MCGM. Since more than twodecades now, the MCGM, originally called the Bombay Municipal Corporation, hasbeen responsible for drawing out the city’s development plans that evaluatesland use development (Figure 9) and requirements for future use as well asformulating development control regulations that provide terms and conditionsfor expansion with regard to the overall benefit of socio-economic functions. Anyform of land use development undertaken by a public institution or developermust conform to regulations set out by the MCGM as well as obtain necessarypermissions in order to proceed with development (Pethe, Nallathiga, Gandhi andTandel, 2014). The procedure and permissions required for preparing developmentplans is briefly illustrated in Figure 10. These plans are prepared by thelocal government bodies every 20 years and provide information on existingconditions of land as well as proposals for future development. Challengesin Planning development Metropolitan regions inIndia face major issues in the governance and regulation systems of planning asmost of the development is typically executed for the incentives of the publicand private organizations. Also, as seen in the case of the Mumbai MetropolitanRegion, a number of government agencies have overlapping powers which makes theentire process of planning a conflict of political considerations (Pethe,Gandhi and Tandel, 2011). Lack of citizen participation and fulfillment ofsocial needs along with poor management and maintenance system has led tocertain planning failures in the city of Mumbai.
Widespread public discontent hascondemned the planning system as a market force rather than a public or socialaspiration.Construction of Mono RailDue to the increasing population growth in the city ofMumbai and rising need for infrastructure for transportation, phase 1 of the MumbaiMonorail Project was launched by the MMRDA between the Chembur-Wadala corridor (Figure11) in 2014 to ease traffic and congestion in the eastern parts of Mumbai. Builtat the cost of approximately USD 170 million, the 8.8 km long train route is mainlyperceived by the public as an oversight in planning efficiency and aninvestment for real estate rather than public good. With an expected rider shipof atleast 2 lakh passengers a day, as predicted by the MMRDA, a handful ofonly 17000 people commute through the Monorail (Rawal, 2017). The proposedMonorail was supposed to be a 20km long corridor connecting Chembur to SantGadge Maharaj Chowk (Figure 12). However, with the failure in the phase 1 ofthe project and lack of cost recovery, the officials in MMRDA are reconsideringthe completion of the project. The major reasons for thefailure of the monorail attributes to poor selection of route, absence ofcommercial hubs in areas serviced by the system, expensive fare rates and poor intersectionwith local suburban railway networks (Rawal, 2017).
The Maharashtra statelegislature’s public accounts committee described this as a process of poor planningand lack of judgement in the feasibility of the monorail as well as a waste ofpublic money (Gangan, 2017). Thus, the planninginefficiency is a result of lack of data and analysis by the local authority,lack of public participation as well as failure to address the social andtransport needs without the perspective of an explicitly market gain value. Textile Mills to Commercialand Recreational CentresMumbai, during the British rule was astriving cotton textile market with a number of mills concentrated in the LowerParel area (Figure 13). After the decline of textile mills in the 1980s and theprominence of Lower Parel as a commercial center in Mumbai, brought about atransition in the land use of the mills to commercial buildings, residentialtowers and shopping centres.
However, the local infrastructure of the areaconsisting of chawls occupied by original mill workers and their families aswell as the local railways station surrounding the area had not been improved. Initial land use development proposals consisted ofrehabilitation and reconstruction of the chawls and dilapidated structures inthe area. Due to an influx of new professionals and urban populace, mill ownersdistributed their mill lands to the civic bodies for investment in redevelopmentof low-cost housing and commercial activities.
The local government bodies commissionprivate investors and developers to plan and redevelop these lands with fullautonomous power and without the interference of government bodies. However, investorssaw this as an economic opportunity and hence redeveloped these areas intoshopping complexes and commercial towers. The shopping complex, High StreetPhoenix (Figure 14) was one of the first redevelopment projects that saw thetransformation of textile mill into a buzzing shopping center. A recent stampede in 2017at the Elphinstone Road railway station (Chandrashekhar, 2017), sought the much-neededattention of the government bodies to intercept and object the construction ofluxury projects. With planning and redevelopment focused on creating newertowers and projects in the Lower Parel area, it failed to refurbish theexisting dilapidated infrastructure of the local railway station. Without theinfluence of the government bodies and independent power to the privateinvestors, the planning of the Lower Parel area turned into a development formarket organizations and gains rather than fulfillment of basic public provisionsand requirement, as specified in the development plans andregulations.
The major public concern with the development plans and proposalsundertaken by the local government bodies is the failure in addressing housingand transportation planning needs while emphasizing on creating increasingnumbers of office clusters and shopping complexes (Raje, n.d.). ConclusionBeing a major destinationfor migration due to its economic growth and popularity, the city of Mumbai hasbeen undergoing various development pressures since the beginning of the 20thcentury (Nallathiga, 2009).
This has led to a process of chaotic and haphazardplanning due to lack of management between various governing bodies anddisorganized approach to planning legislations. The different organizations,although operate independently, have overlapping jurisdictions and therefore,face issues of operation, coordination and execution among themselves whichthen leads to political and social strife among the various agencies. This hasin turn, led to widespread planning chaos within the city. Planning processeshave thus, failed to give adequate attention in the integration of land usewith transport and environmental planning (ibid.
). The main planninginefficiency is the ineffective public participation in preparation ofdevelopment plans and proposals and lack of monitoring mechanism due toinadequate arrangements and trained officials in the planning system(Nallathiga, 2006). Also, master plans and development plans are typicallyprepared for a period of 20 years which fails to assess the population growthand change in public demands and provisions along with the transition in landuse that creates a mismatch of growth projections and societal needs (ibid.). Therefore,for a country with such a large population and high population growth, planningand regulatory mechanisms need to take stronger and well-planned initiatives tocontrol the and organize the planning and development.
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