An overview of the statutory process under sections 21 to 31 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act 1966[edit | edit source]

Development planning

Development planning is the sublime art of laying out a pattern of human settlement, using science and technology and the resources of the time to -

Achieve the most harmonious balance between what is desired by its inhabitants and what is possible in the given time, means, and circumstances
Create quality physical space (both built and unbuilt) that nurtures the highest values of human civilization
Enable citizens to evolve into a higher spiritual and cultural level of existence as human beings


This was first introduced in the Bombay Town Planning Act of 1954 in Maharashtra. The present procedure is under the provisions of the MR&TP Act of 1966.

There is a statutory compulsion for every municipal authority to prepare a development plan for the area under its jurisdiction. Pune municipality became a municipal corporation on 15 Feb 1950. The first non statutory “master plan” of Pune was prepared in 1954. The first statutory “development plan” was prepared in 1966.

The first ‘revision’ process of this Development Plan was started in 1982, and the ‘revised’ Development Plan was sanctioned by the state government in 1987. The effective validity of this plan is for 20 years – i.e. up to year 2007. Hence the second revision (DP 2008) is now underway, as per law.


Development plans are prepared as a statutory “guideline” for the development activities of civic authorities in municipal towns

They enable planning for an orderly development of a town
They enable zoning of the lands in a town for different purposes
They enable reservation of private lands for public purposes
They enable framework of rules & bye-laws for building control
They enable repair & redevelopment of old dilapidating areas
They enable protection of the environment and ecology in a town
They enable protection & conservation of heritage buildings
They enable creation of amenities, utilities & facilities for people
They enable creation of new infrastructure for future growth
Development plans help to give a direction to the city growth
Development plans help to give a city an identity and an image


A development plan is not just a map showing various proposals. The Development plan includes an existing land use map with a report of various surveys, statistical data and analysis of information.

The main development plan is a proposed land use map and report. The development control rules are also a part of the Development Plan. The government gazette order sanctioning the development plan containing alterations & modifications also becomes an integral part in the composition of a development plan.


Typically, the Development Plan has the following contents:

Landuse zoning of the entire area within the municipal boundary
Boundaries of administrative or planning sectors, traffic zones.
Natural physical features like hills, rivers, nallahs, coastline, …
Transportation networks like roads, railway lines, airports…
Reservations of lands for public utilities and civic amenities
Provisions for services like water supply, sewerage, garbage …
Rules and regulations for construction & development control
Policies and strategies proposed for implementation and phasing
Financial planning with resource mobilisation strategies & costs
Incentive policies for special developments – infotech / industry / sez / integrated townships
Protection policies for ecology, environment, heritage & culture
Policies and strategies for flood control and pollution control
Proposals for filling and reclamation of low lying lands/ swamps
Proposals for gardens, parks, green belts, street plantations …


The procedure as laid down in the different sections of the MR and TP Act is as follows:

Section 21 : legal compulsion to prepare a development plan
Section 22 : essential contents of a development plan
Section 23 : declaration of intention – with boundary defination
Section 24 : appointment of town planning officer for surveys
Section 25 : existing landuse survey, analysis and report
Section 26 : publication of draft development plan (suggestions and objections)
Section 27 : consideration of regional plan proposals in the DP
Section 28 : hearings of suggestions and objections + report of planning committee
Section 29 : re-publication on major modification (suggestions and objections
Section 30 : submission of draft DP by city government to state goverrnment for sanction
Section 31 : sanction to draft DP by state government and final DP in force

Landuse zoning

Landuse zone Permitted development Colour coding Residential all residential + mixed use yellow Commercial all commercial + mixed use blue Industrial all industrial and allied purple Public / semi-public public purpose + institutional red Defence lands defence owned + cantonments hatched Forests afforestation + forest resorts green Hill tops & hill slopes tree plantation & vegetation green Green belts tree plantation & vegetation green Parks & gardens tree plantation & vegetation green Playgrounds recreation & sports activities green Roads & railways transport routes & buildings gray Water bodies rivers, lakes, water courses blue Public utilities watersupply, drainage & power brown Reservations specified public purposes red verge


This overview merely covers the requirements of the law and the statutory process. This overview does not cover many other important facets of planning like - geology, climatology, ecology, sociology, topography, demography, geography, economics, etc, or issues of the environment, aesthetics, law & order, art, culture or architecture …

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