Shirley Ballaney and Bimal Patel
Town Planning Scheme in Practice:
A Case Study of Sardar Patel Ring Road in Ahmedabad
The Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) published the Revised Development Plan for Ahmedabad in 1997. In this plan, a ring road was proposed around the urban agglomeration of Ahmedabad. During the period of response from the public, AUDA received thousands of objections from owners of land along the proposed ring road alignment. After some serious introspection, AUDA came up with a revised proposal which was published in 1999 and sanctioned in 2002. The revised proposal received very few objections. The publication of the revised proposal was accompanied by an initiative for implementation, which has few parallels in the country.
The proposed ring road was about 76 km long and 60 meters wide. Typically, the Right Of Way for such roads is appropriated using the land acquisition method. However, AUDA decided to use a combination of minimal land acquisition and an extensive use of the TPS mechanism. This requires some explanation. There are primarily two processes adopted by the Gujarat government for appropriation of land for development purposes—Land Acquisition and Land Pooling. Land Acquisition is carried out under the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), whereas Land Pooling is carried out using the provisions relating to Town Planning Schemes in the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act (GTPUDA). While the LAA can be used in both urban and rural areas, land pooling is applicable only in an urban area: to be more precise, in a Development Area designated under the provisions of GTPUDA.
The LAA enables the government to acquire privately owned land for a bonafide public purpose. While the government can initiate land acquisition for a public purpose directly through the LAA, the process can also be initiated through the provisions of other legislations such as the Gujarat Industrial Development Act (GIDA) or the GTPUDA. For example, if the land was required for an industrial estate to be established by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), then the acquisition process would be initiated through the relevant provisions of GIDA. If the land was required for development of a major urban road, proposed in a Development Plan sanctioned under GTPUDA, then the acquisition proceedings would be initiated under the relevant provisions of that Act. In any land acquisition process, the Government retains the option of a negotiated purchase subject to conditions that ensure a reasonable price.
At the time of publishing the revised Development Plan itself, AUDA had tentatively delineated Town Planning Schemes all along the alignment of the proposed Ring Road. Soon after, AUDA initiated an outreach programme and contacted all the landowners affected by the ring road and those owning land in the surrounding area. The AUDA explained the TPSmechanism to them and offered the opportunity to participate in the benefits of building the ring road by undertaking these schemes along the length of the Ring Road, on either side of the alignment. Most of the farmers owning the land agreed to the scheme. A large portion of the ‘Right of Way’ (RoW) was handed over by the farmers to AUDA on mere verbal assurance. The preparation of the TP Schemes and all the documentation followed later.
Land in approximately 1 km wide belt along the Ring Road was reorganized, creating this road. The original landowners got back land amounting to more than 60 per cent area of their original land holding in locations very close to, if not overlapping their original holdings. Minimal development rights were provided to the properties under the land use zoning proposed in the development plan. As a result, today, one can see large numbers of farmhouse layouts along the Ring Road. While substantial amount of the land in the area has changed hands after the implementation of the Town Planning Schemes, many original owners have retained their lands. Not only that, the original owners were also able to reap the benefits of the land value appreciation that happened as a result of the Ring Road construction as well as implementation of the TPS.
Figure 24.3: Location Map of TPS 90 Vinzol 2
Compiling Land Ownership Details
While the area is being surveyed, existing cadastral maps and records are obtained from the relevant office of the Revenue Department and compiled in a prescribed format. Name of the owners, plot area, type of tenure, and encumbrances on the land are compiled. While preparing the TPS, the tenure and encumbrances on a plot remain unaffected.
Preparing a Base Map
The detailed ground survey and existing cadastral maps are collated to prepare a ‘Base Map’. Discrepancies are resolved in favour of the plot area in cadastral records unless a portion of the plot has been acquired or has been sub divided/amalgamated and the records have not been updated. By custom, the base map prepared by the Development Authority is approved and authorized by relevant officers of the Revenue Department. Figure 24.4 shows the base map for the TP Scheme.
Establishing Boundaries of the TPS
The boundary of the TPS is now clearly marked on the base map. Planning considerations, physical features, and other administrative boundaries are taken into consideration while doing this. At this juncture, the intention to prepare a TPS for the area is published in local newspapers. This is the first stage at which the Authority is required to inform landowners. Figure 24.5 shows the boundary of the TPS.
Marking Original Plots on the Base Map
Development a new plan for the area begins by clearly identifying ‘Original Plots’ (OPs) on the base map and giving each a serial number referred to as the OP number. At this stage, contiguous plots held by the same owner are consolidated as single OPs, and this simplifies subsequent planning and reduces land fragmentation. The map showing the OPs is referred to as the OP Plan in Figure 24.5.
Any major (city-level) roads, already indicated in the DP (see 3.5 above) and passing though the TPS area are first
drawn up on the OP Map. Following this, the subsidiary road network is designed and drawn up. While doing this, the planner has to envision the future urban character of the area and keep a number of issues related to planning, transportation, and urban design in mind. Efficiency of the road network (that is, proportion of the land used up for the road network) is also a key parameter governing the design of the network of roads. Figure 24.6 shows the road network for the TPS.
Plots for Public Use
Following determination of the road network, plots for a variety of public uses such as schools, parks, health facilities, and housing for economically weaker sections are drawn up. Increasingly, plots are also being set aside for the Development Authority’s land bank—to be sold to raise finances for infrastructure development. A key design concern at this stage is to keep the total proportion of land allotted for public plots within the prevailing norm. Figure 24.6 shows the road network and amenity plots in the TPS.
Tabulating Ownership and Original Plot Details
The ‘F Form’ as it is called, shown in Figure 24.7, is the key statutorily prescribed format in which operative information regarding the TPS is tabulated. First, ownership details of each OP are tabulated, followed by its area (see Figure 24.7A). Based on available land sales data from within the TPS area, each OP’s value is estimated and tabulated. While doing so, increments in value, expected on account of the implementation of the TPS, are not taken into consideration.
ESTIMATING THE COST OF DEVELOPMENT, VALUATION, AND COMPUTING BETTERMENT CHARGES Tabulating Final Plot Sizes
At this stage, the total land area used up for roads and plots for public uses is calculated as a proportion (percentage) of the total land area of the TPS. This is a key figure usually predetermined. Each OP’s area is reduced by this proportion and tabulated as the area of the ‘final plot’ (FP) to be allocated to each OP holder. In other words,
Form F (Rule 21 and 35)
Draft Town Planning Scheme No. 90 (Vinzol—2), Ahmedabad, Redistribution and Valuations Statement
The Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act—1976
|No.||No.||Area in||Value in||Rupees||No.||Area in||Value in Rupees||Compensa-||Sec.||Sec.||or||from|
|Without||Inclusive||Undeveloped Developed||under||Column||50%||tion||by (-)|
|reference to||of||Without||Inclusive||Without||Inclusive||Sec. 80||10(a)-||of||:rom (-)||owner|
|value of||structure||reference to of||reference to||of||Colmn||Colmn||Colmn||Contri-||being|
|structures||value of||structure||value of||structures||9(b)-||9(a)||12||bution||the|
|2||Gajaraben wd/o Punjab Sartanji, Gitaben d/o
Punjaji or Collector, Ahemdabad for GOG
|3||Gauchar, Vinzol Gram||374||3||1416||111275||111275||3||2670||66762||66762||1228416||1228416||-44515||1161654||580827||536314|
|4||Keshavlal Ishwarlal, Baldevdas Ishvarlal||372||4||3845||96125||96125||4||2307||57677||57677||1107403||1107403||-38448||1049726||524863||4866415|
|5||Prafull Harishankar and||614||5||6576||240275||240275||5||5767||144172||144172||2912264||2912264||-96104||2768093||1284046||1287943|
|Bhikhaji Manuji V.K. of||371||3035|
|Lalji Maharaj, Samarsang Ramsingh, Anilkumar Shankarlal||9611|
|6||Prafull Harishankar and||RT||370/1||6||17705||531150||531150||6||10623||286828||286828||5598453||5598453||-244322||5311625||2655813||2411490|
|Bhikhaji Manuji V.K. of Lalji Maharajm Samarsang Ramsingh, Anilkumar Shankarlal Mahipatsang Manuji or Collector, Ahemdabad of GOG||370/2|
|7||Bharatsingh Raghuji, Virubhai Raghuji or Collector, Ahemdabad||RT||369||7||6779||169475||169475||7||4069||101715||101715||1932585||1932585||-67760||1830870||915435||847675|
|No. Name of the Owner Tenure Survey|
|Contribute Incre- Contri- Addition Net Rema-
ion(+) ment bution to (+) demand rks
|Fig. 24.7 (Contd’,)|
|1||2||3||3(a)||4||5||6(a)||6(b)||7||8||9(a)||(9b)||10(a)||10(b)||11||12||13 14||15 16|
|8||Waste Land of Talav,
Vinzol Gram Panchayata
|9||Hamantsang Jesangji or Collector, Ahemdabad for GOG||RT||368||9||2833||70825||70825||9||1700||42491||42491||807324||807324||-28334||764834||382417||354083|
Chinubhai Kanjibhai, Laljibhai Kanjibhai,
Sajanben Kanjibhai, or Collector, Ahemdabad
|11||Bharatsingh Raghuji, Virubhai Raghuji,
Bhikhabhai Manuji or
Bank of India
|12||Private Property of Ramsangji Jesangji V.K. ofNikanth Mahadev or
|14||Arjanbhai Phuljibhai, Gajaraben Mobatsang, Udiben Mobatsang, Bhikhabhai Mobatsang, Manvaben Mobatsang||619||14||9409||517495||517495||14||5645||310479||310479||2935436||2935436||-207016||2624958||1312479||1105463|
|15||Javansingh Amarsang, Udaising Amarsang||621||15||2833||118986||118986||15||1699||71372||71372||861565||861565||-47614||790193||395097||347483|
|16||Ramjibhai Motibhai and Dhiruji Aluji V.K. of Nilkanth Mahadev Temple||366||16||1922||57660||57660||16||1153||46129||46129||570849||570849||-11531||524720||262360||250829|
|17||Javansingh Amarsingh, Udaising Amarsing or
Gujrat State Co. Op. Bank
|Notes: (A) Indicating Ownership, Original Plots and Original Plot Values;
(B) Indicating the Final Plot Values; and
(C) Indicating the Compensation and Betterment Charges.
Delineating Final Plotseach OP holder gets a smaller FP. The percentage of land deducted from each OP is the same as the percentage of land of the TPS used up for roads and plots for public uses. Thus, each landowner contributes the same proportion of his land for the creation of public facilities.
After road and amenity plots are drawn up and sizes of FPs tabulated, they are designed and drawn up. At this stage, the planner has to envision the future character of the area and reshape each of the plots. As far as it is possible, the FP is allotted in the same location as the OP; and the OP is trimmed to make it smaller. Figure 24.8 shows a drawing of the proposed road network, amenity plots, and the FPs.
Tabulating Semi-final Values and Computing Compensation
The process of valuation is continued further. A semi-final (SF) value is ascribed to each FP Usually, this is the same as the OP value. In some instances, however, there can be a marginal change in the value of the OP—it may increase or decrease owing to the planning proposals such as zone changes, changes in plot shape, changes in the plot size, certain development control regulations, a substantial shift in plots, and proximity to features that may negatively
impact development, etc. The compensation for the land appropriated is now calculated. The compensation to be paid to each landowner is the difference between the product of ‘OP value and OP area’ and ‘SF value and FP area.’
Estimating Cost of Infrastructure and the TPS
The TPSs infrastructure is designed and its cost is estimated. Prevailing norms are followed to set engineering standards. Infrastructure normally includes roads, street lighting, water supply and sewerage, and storm water drainage. Next, the total costs of the TPS are worked out. Apart from the cost of infrastructure, these include compensation to be paid to each landowner, administrative, and legal costs involved in preparing and implementing the TPS.
Establishing the value of FPs and Computing Betterment Charges
The total cost of the TPS is divided by the total land that is given as FPs. This gives the cost of development per unit area of land, which is then to be loaded on all FPs with some consideration to location-related advantage. The value of the FP is the sum of the cost of development and the SF value. Figure 24.7(B) shows the F Form at this point. Next, the total increment or increase in the value
for each plot of land is worked out. This is the product of both FP value and FP area. The GTPUDA stipulates that about half of the increment can be taken by the Development Authority to finance the cost of works and administrative expenses of preparing the TPS. Taking 50 per cent of the increment in the land value from each plot and deducting the compensation to be paid for the land appropriated, the net demand or betterment charges are estimated. With this, the F Form is complete. Figure 24.7 (A+B+C) shows the final F Form.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND CONSENSUAL
Meeting of Landowners
At this stage, a public meeting of landowners is called to present the draft TPS proposal and to solicit their opinions and objections, if any. A Notice inviting all owners to attend the meeting is published in the newspapers. The meeting is held in a public venue and is conducted by the urban planning staff of the Development Authority. The objective of the meeting is to clarify the procedures and proposals of the TPS and to build consensus.
Modifying the TPS and Appropriating Land for Roads
Based on objections and suggestions raised during the landowners’ meeting and on written objections and suggestions sent in by individual owners, the Development Authority subsequently modifies the TPS. Modifications are aimed at ensuring that all ‘reasonable’ objections are addressed. The modified TPS is sent to the state government for approval. At this stage, it is referred to as the ‘Draft TPS’ and upon approval, it is referred to as the ‘Sanctioned Draft TPS’. After sanction, the Development Authority can take physical possession of the land designated for roads.
Appointment of the Town Planning Officer
On approval of the Draft TPS, the state government appoints a quasi—judicial officer called a Town Planning Officer (TPO) to finalize the Sanctioned Draft TPS. The TPO is supposed to systematically and individually hear each landowner on concerns regarding physical attributes of the final plot, compensation, and betterment charges being levied. The TPO is responsible for modifying the TPS as he sees fit, finalizing it, overseeing actual demarcation of the reconstituted plots, and handing over possession of TPS plots to land-owners. On account of this, TPOs are required to be technically competent, and by custom, are selected from the pool of urban planners available with the stategovernment.
Hearings by the TPO and Modifications
Three individual hearings are given to each landowner in the TPS. The first two hearings focus on physical proposals of the TPS, landowners are individually notified regarding the opportunity to be heard and submissions or presentations are duly recorded in writing. The TPS is modified twice and referred to as the ‘Preliminary TPS’. Notice of ‘Award of the Preliminary TPS’ is published in local newspapers and the TPS is once again sent to the state government for its approval. After grant of approval, it is referred to as the ‘Sanctioned Preliminary Scheme’. This implies that the Development Authority now owns all plots for public use. The TPO undertakes a third set of individual hearings at this stage, which are focused solely on financial issues.
Finalizing the TPS
Based on the hearings and on any clarifications or opinions sought by him from the state government, the TPO makes final modifications to the financial proposals of the Scheme. The TPS, thus modified, is referred to as the Final TPS, which is notified as the ‘Award of the Final TPS’ in the local papers. Appeals against the Final TPS can only be made in the Board of Appeals constituted for the purpose by the state government. Once appeals are resolved, the state government is required to sanction the Final TPS within three months.
Why does the Two Stage DP-TP Mechanism Work?
Anyone trying to first understand the two stage DP—TP mechanism invariably finds it to be complicated, tedious, unwieldy, long, and ultimately unusable. Indeed, it is a tedious process. Many reforms are urgently necessary. However, even with all its flaws, it has been and remains a very effective planning, infrastructure development, financing, and implementation tool and the best argument in its favour is simply that it works. This can be clearly seen in that the DP—TP Mechanism has been used for managing Ahmedabad’s growth over the last century, on account of which the city not only has an effective road network but manages to build infrastructure before urban expansion takes place in the periphery.
Managing urban expansion in the periphery of cities is only one use to which the DP—TP mechanism can be put. Considered in abstraction, it can easily be seen that the DP process is a powerful strategic planning tool and that the TPS process is a general purpose techno-legal mechanism for delimiting an area and, within it:
- reconstituting properties;
- appropriating land;
- levying charges for infrastructure provision and for other costs;
- levying betterment charges;
- formally informing landowners of proposed plans;
- compensating dispossessed landowners;
- seeking a majority consent and recording their suggestions and objections; and
- for empowering quasi-judicial officers for redressing grievances.
The ‘Town Planning Scheme’ mechanism is, therefore, a powerful and well-coordinated statutory tool for simultaneously preparing a detailed land appropriation, land readjustment and infrastructure-building plan, a mechanism for financing and implementing the plan, and a mechanism for involving landowners in the process. Being a general purpose mechanism, it can and has been used for addressing a variety of urban land appropriation and infrastructure provision problems. Just in the last decade, it has been used, for example, to reorganize properties to build new roads within the extremely dense-walled city of Bhuj after the 2001 earthquake; to appropriate approximately 4 sq. km of land to build a 60 m wide and 76 km long ring road circling Ahmedabad; to appropriate 150 ha of land for an educational campus near Gandhinagar; and to finance and build infrastructure while regularizing a swathe of irregular construction.
The real question is not whether the versatile DP—TP mechanism works. Nor is it whether it should be extensively used or not. The interesting question is: why does the DP—TP mechanism work? Most people attribute the success of this method to Gujarati pragmatism. While
Gujarati pragmatism, to the extent that it really exists,
may well make it work better or faster. In our view, success
of the DP—TP mechanism results from the following:
- The DP—TP mechanism is specified in robust- enabling legislation. The GTPUDA’s roots can be found in the Bombay Town Planning Act of 1915. It has been continually improved, and by now, is well tested in court. Further reforms are underway.
- The mechanism promotes and enables the Development Authority to think and plan at both the macrolevel and at the micro level. The bane of a lot of infrastructure planning is a geographically focused view. The DP—TP mechanism requires planners to think at a city- wide level and then allows them to undertake very detailed planning.
- This mechanism is a spatial planning tool that promotes a comprehensive approach. When developing a spatial plan, a planner is forced to simultaneously deal with all the complexities of an urban area—roads, variety land uses, buildings, infrastructure, traffic, rights of way, and so on. Thinking in a sector-based engineering fashion in the urban context and not anticipating how one piece of infrastructure is linked with the rest and how all the infrastructure connects with living environments in an area is often the main reason why projects fail.
- This mechanism is simultaneously one of planning and implementation. Not only does it allow the Development Authority to plan on paper, but also provides it tools to raise finances, distribute cost, appropriate land and implement its proposals. Moreover, it provides considerable flexibility since costs and benefits can be valued and allocated in the form of land, location, money, or development rights.
- It enables coordination across an array of very different tasks. No doubt, in the absence of such a mechanism, many of the tasks described above—to transform peripheral agricultural land for urban use—can be accomplished using existing legislations. Private property can be appropriated using the Land Acquisition Act. Land for low-income housing can be appropriated using the Land Ceiling Act. Municipal legislation allows levying of betterment charges. Revenue laws specify mechanisms for reordering property holdings. However, it would be extremely difficult to work with such disparate laws. A number of different authorities and departments would have to work in tandem while being governed by both different government departments and legal clocks. Moreover, many of these legislations are widely considered to be clumsy, outdated, impractical, and unfair. Solving complex urban problems requires a single legal mechanism, under a single control, working towards a single objective.
- The DP—TP mechanism is simultaneously a technical and legal mechanism. Speaking in more broader terms, it is simultaneously a technical and a governance mechanism. Using it requires paying attention to both technical issues such as engineering, finance, and urban design and governance issues such as deliberative decision making, consensus building, and redressal of grievances.
- This mechanism is relatively inexpensive. Land does not have to be paid for and infrastructure, planning, administrative (and indeed all other) costs can be realized from the increments in land value. The Development Authority can be simply a ‘no-profit- no-loss’ facilitator.
- The mechanism works because professionally competent urban planners are available and because they have a relatively strong and institutionalized role for city planning in the local government.
- A profoundly pragmatic political approach underpins this mechanism. Property rights are respected, costs are distributed, and all owners lose the same proportion of land. Benefits are shared and owners keep a substantial portion of developed land and increment in land value. Planning seeks to use the land market and not thwart it. Landowners are kept involved in the planning process and their grievances are heard and redressed.
- Ultimately, the mechanism works because it is widely perceived to be fair and equitable.
Summary and Conclusions
To sum up, the chapter strategically highlights that the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act (GTPUDA), 1976 provides for an effective two-stage techno-legal process for urban planning and implementation through the ‘DP—TP Scheme’ mechanism. The first stage involves preparation and ratification of a strategic, city-wide Development Plan. The second stage involves preparation and implementation of one or more TPSs to realize proposals of the Development Plan. This stage is quite elaborate and involves a wide range of activities such as delimiting an area, and within it, reconstituting properties, appropriating land, levying betterment charges to finance infrastructure provision, compensating dispossessed landowners, formally informing landowners of proposed plans, seeking a majority consent and recording their suggestions and objections, and empowering quasi-judicial officers for redressal of grievances. The TPS process is thus a powerful and well-coordinated statutory tool, which involves not only a detailed land appropriation, land readjustment, and infrastructure development plan but also a mechanism for financing and implementing the plan, thus involving the landowners in the process. There is evidence that the use of this mechanism to appropriate land can be a more effective instrument than the process defined by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. This mechanism, which currently works as an instrument of only town planning, can potentially, be used for other infrastructure projects as well.
Ballaney, Shirley (2003), ‘A Participatory Approach to Creating Urban Infrastructure’ Ahmedabad, an award entry written for Crisis Awards for Excellence in Municipal Initiatives on behalf of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority.
Ballaney, Shirley (2008), The Town Planning Mechanism in Gujarat, India, The World Bank, Washington DC.
EPC (2007), ‘Streamlining Urban Planning and Land Management Practices’, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department (GUDC), Government of Gujarat, supported by World Bank.
Hall, Thomas (1997), ‘Planning Europe’s Capital Cities: Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Urban Development’, in Studies in History, Planning and the Environment 21, E&F Spoon, London.
Kalia, Ravi (1987), Chandigarh: In Search of an Identity, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
Patel Bimal (2007), ‘Making City Planning Work’, presentation made at IIM, Ahmedabad, for the Course on Urban Planning and Management.
Patel, Bimal and Shirley Ballaney (2007), ‘Gujarat’s Mechanism for Appropriating Land for Low Cost Housing’ in ‘The Town Planning Mechanism in Gujarat’, a presentation for the National Conerence on Affordable Housing for All, Mumbai.
Reps, John W (1965), The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
Several Town Planning Schemes prepared by EPC and EPCDPM for local governments and development authorities, Ahmedabad.
 For example, if a plot owner has encroached upon a neighbour’s plot and thus the plot appears larger than what the record shows, the boundaries of the plot are corrected in the base map to truly reflect the area in the record.
 This being a relatively recent practice, a clear policy for use of land banks has not emerged as yet. The Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority has begun auctioning such plots to raise finances for infrastructure development.
 As explained above, this is the how the process whereby a city-wide development plan is followed by a number of smaller area TP Schemes is locally referred to.
 The authors have recently completed a detailed, World Bank- funded study of urban land management and planning in Gujarat for the Urban Development and Urban Housing Department of the state government, ‘Streamlining Urban Planning and Land Management Practices, 2008’, which identifies key institutional and legislative reforms required to improve the Development Plan and TPS processes.
 Shirley Ballaney, ‘A Participatory Approach to Creating Urban Infrastructure’ Sardar Patel Ring Road, Ahmedabad, 2003.
 TPS No. 19, Raysan Randesan and TPS 20 Koba, prepared for the Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority, prepared by EPC Development Planning and Management Pvt Ltd (EPCDPM).
 TPS No. 97, Naroda North, prepared for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, prepared by Environmental Planning Collaborative (EPC).