TOWN PLANNING AND VALUATION DEPARTMENT
The Town Planning and Valuation department under the administrative control of the Urban Development, Public Health and Housing department deals with the important subject of town planning and valuation of real properties.
Functions: Some of the important duties and functions of this department as stipulated by Government are as under:-
(1) Preparation of regional plans, development plans and town planning schemes under the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966.
(2) Rendering assistance to the municipal authorities in the preparation of development plans and town planning schemes.
(3) Performing the duties of the Town Planning Officers and Arbitrators, to carry out surveys, prepare the existing land use plans and development plans, to scrutinise development or building permission cases, to render advice to the Tribunal of Appeal and to draw up final town planning schemes, to work as members of the Regional Planning Boards, constituted by Government and to prepare regional plans.
(4) Advising Government on all matters regarding town and country planning.
(5) Advising and preparing town development, improvement, extension and slum clearance schemes under the Municipal Acts.
(A) Valuation of agricultural and non-agricultural lands and properties in towns and villages belonging to Government and intended for the purposes of sale or lease.
(B) Valuation for miscellaneous purposes such as cantonment leases, probate or stamp duty, etc.
(C) Valuation for the purposes of fixing standard rates of non-agricultural assessment and prescribing zones of values in all villages and rising localities, in the vicinity of important and growing towns.
(D) Valuation for the purposes of fixing standard table of ground
rents and land values in respect of lands in cantonments.
(E) Scrutiny of awards of compensation under Land Acquisition
(F) Giving expert evidence when called upon to do so in the
District Courts and High Court when appeals are lodged against the
awards of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
Organisation: The department is headed by the Director of Town Planning, Pune, who is assisted by the Deputy Director of Town Planning, the Assistant Director of Town Planning, Town Planners and the requisite staff. There has been an increase in the activities of the department in recent years with the consequential increase in the number of branch offices in the State. The officers of this department are also called upon to give expert evidence in the courts in land acquisition references and are also appointed to function as arbitrators to finalise the draft town planning schemes prepared by the planning authorities. Officers of this department also function as part-time Special Land Acquisition Officers at Pune, Sholapur, Ahmadnagar and Satara.
Schemes: Before the opening of a separate branch office of the Town Planning and Valuation department at Sholapur, the work of town planning and valuation from Sholapur district was dealt with by head office at Pune. In the field of town planning, Sholapur city had made a beginning as far back as in 1920. The then Sholapur municipality undertook the preparation of the town planning schemes, viz., Town Planning Scheme Sholapur No. I and No. II for the areas adjacent to the gaothan under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915. Both these schemes were prepared and finalised. These schemes were for the northern and eastern portions of the town which came into force in 1934. Subsequently as the town grew up, two more town planning schemes, viz., Town Planning Scheme No. Ill and No. IV were also taken up in 1934 and 1940, respectively for the areas to the south and west of the gaothan. Out of these two schemes, Town Planning Scheme Sholapur No. IV was finalised and published by the Arbitrator in 1967. The work of finalising Town Planning Scheme Sholapur No. III is still in progress. Thus excluding the gaothan proper all the area included in the limits of Sholapur Corporation has been covered by these four town planning schemes thus affording very effective control on the new development. In addition, during the old days since 1925, the following important schemes were also prepared in the form of re-development or town extension schemes. They are: (a) forest development scheme, (b) Revni scheme, (c) Gadda plot scheme, and (d) Tiregaon development scheme. However, though efforts were made to control development on planned lines by means
of various schemes mentioned above, it was felt necessary to have a Master Plan for the city as a whole. The Sholapur municipality, therefore, in 1953 decided to prepare a Master Plan for the entire city under P.W.R. Scheme 139 of the ex-Bombay State Government and this work was carried out by the Town Planning and Valuation Department, Government of Bombay. This development plan was sanctioned by Government under the provisions of Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954, and came into force from November 1, 1958.
To cope with the ever-increasing work in the field of planning and particularly to assist the arbitrator in finalising the two Town Planning Schemes, viz., III and IV, a separate branch office of the department under the control of the Town Planner was created at Sholapur in May 1960. After the creation of the office, the Town Planning Schemes, Sholapur Nos. I and II, were finalised with some variations by the arbitrator and both the schemes were sanctioned by Government. Looking to the volume of work in Sholapur city and also with a view to finalise the schemes expeditiously, the status of the branch office of Sholapur was raised with the Assistant Director of Town Planning as its head in 1964 and the work of finalising the schemes was entrusted to the new officer as arbitrator. For the first time in Sholapur the Town Planning Scheme, Sholapur No. V, for congested areas of the town was undertaken to implement the proposals of development plan to widen the roads. This scheme was prepared in 1964 to widen the existing busy commercial street of the city to fifty feet. The said scheme was sanctioned by the Government and it came into force from December 15, 1969. Similarly another town planning scheme, i.e., Town Planning Scheme, Sholapur No. VI, to widen the main north-south road of the town was also prepared by the Corporation with the help of the Assistant Director of Town Planning, Sholapur, in 1969 and the draft scheme prepared was submitted to Government for sanction.
Due to the rapid industrialisation of the city and due to the changing needs of the town, the master plan prepared in 1955 was proposed to be revised and the Sholapur Municipal Corporation declared its intention to revise the Development Plan of Sholapur in 1967 under the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966.
In addition to the Sholapur Municipal Corporation there are nine municipal councils in the district, the work of planning in respect of which is also looked after by the branch of Town Planning and Valuation Department in the district. These municipal councils are (1) Barshi, (2) Pandharpur, (3) Akkalkot, (4) Kurduwadi, (5) Karmala, (6) Mangalwedha, (7) Sangola, (8) Maindargi and (9) Dudhani. Out of these towns, the development plans of Barshi
and Pandharpur have already been prepared under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954, end have come into force from 15th August, 1965 and 1966, respectively. The Pandharpur Municipal Council has gone a step ahead in making a town planning scheme to implement the proposals of development plan. It declared its intention to prepare a Town Planning Scheme, Pandharpur No. I, for widening the roads around the famous Vithoba Temple in 1967 and the work of preparing a draft scheme was also taken up by the Sholapur Branch of Town Planning and Valuation department. The draft scheme so prepared has now been sanctioned by Government and the Assistant Director of Town Planning, Sholapur, is appointed as arbitrator to finalise the scheme. The work of preparing a development plan in respect of Kurduwadi town has also been taken up by the branch office. The draft development plan of Kurduwadi was published in July 1969, which, after considering the suggestions and objections from the public, would be submitted to the Government for approval. The Akkalkot Municipal Council has also declared its intention to prepare the development plan and the work of preparing the development plan was carried on accordingly. Out of the remaining municipal councils, the Municipal Councils of Karmala, Sangola, Mangalwedha, Maindargi and Dudhani are being advised to take necessary actions as regards the declaration of intention to prepare their respective development plans and it is expected that the work would be taken in hand in due course.
Since the creation of the branch office at Sholapur in 1960, the work of land acquisition which is initiated by the municipality for implementing the proposals of the development plan is also entrusted to this office and the head of office is also functioning as Special Land Acquisition Officer as well.
In addition to above a number of building permission cases and lay-out cases are being received by this branch office either from revenue officers or from municipal councils and necessary advice was given to them. The work of preparing lay-out of Government lands is also undertaken by this office. Similarly the work of preparing lay-outs for village extensions is dealt with by this branch office since 1965. In 1966 as many as 85 lay-outs were prepared by this office for extension of various villages from the entire district. Thereafter every year atleast ten lay-outs have been prepared for gaothan extension. At the instance of the State Government, the work of preparing a zonal plan for the areas around the limits of Sholapur Municipal Corporation has also been undertaken by this branch office. This zonal plan would broadly allocate the lands for different uses such as agricultural, industrial, residential, etc., and would also suggest a net-work of roads. The above zonal plan would enable the revenue
authorities to control the development in the area on proper lines and it would also check any unplanned growth. Many cases of valuation pertaining to grant of sites of Government land are also dealt with by the branch office at Sholapur at the instance of the revenue authorities.