State to encourage landowners to develop their own layouts

Initiative to promote public participation in town planning schemes

The Urban Development Department is keen to encourage landowners to participate in development of private layouts in cities.

Under the scheme, the department will specify the location of the layout and landowners coming within its perimeter will be encouraged to develop the layout themselves.

“It’s part of the Urban Development Department’s initiative to encourage public participation in town planning schemes. It is generally seen that very few layouts are coming up in growing parts of cities. In order to avoid this, we plan to identify potential parcels of land in the outskirts of cities which can be developed into layouts to reduce the burden in core areas,” Urban Development Department Secretary V Ponnuraj told DH.

Landowners can develop the layout in phases if need be and later sell the plots. The department will also provide the layout plan and help in getting necessary clearances from civic agencies.

The scheme is different from the Amaravathi model of urban land pooling wherein landowners voluntarily handover ownership rights to a government agency. The agency develops the land by building roads and laying sewage lines and installing power connections among others and later returns a parcel of the land to the original owners.

In the scheme being proposed by the Urban Development Department, the landowners retain their ownership of the land and develop the layout. They can hire a contractor of their choice for developing the land and also enter into partnerships for cost sharing. The entire process of land acquisition can be avoided and the landowner will be a participant throughout the development of the layout, Ponnuraj pointed out.

The department is fine-tuning the scheme and a pilot project for developing layouts according to the new model will be launched soon. The department is also working on a plan to involve the public in detecting unauthorised constructions in urban areas, the officer said.

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