Patna, India: Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT)’s urban planner and urban management consultants are preparing Bihar’s first Town and Country Planning Bill. The legislation, once approved, will guide planned urban development in Bihar, an Indian State.
The proposed legislation is part of the ‘Spur Programme for Urban Reforms in Bihar’, a joint project of the Centre, Bihar government and the UK government’s department of international development (DFID). It will lay down procedures for different types of development plans, building and planning norms, rules for land use plan and open space plan as well as for housing for the poor. As Bihar is the birthplace of Buddhism, it has important heritage structures. The proposed Act will also include norms for conservation of these structures.
Ahmedabad -based CEPT team was initially given the task of preparing town planning schemes for the city of Patna. “But when we started working on the details of town planning schemes and delineating the metropolitan boundary, we realised that there is no town planning act in Bihar which we could refer to. So we requested the state government to first frame a town planning act,” said Utpal Sharma, dean, faculty of planning and public policy and arts & humanities at CEPT.
PU Asnani, city-based urban management consultant and lead advisor for Spur Program for Urban Reforms in Bihar, said the proposed Town and Country Planning Act will lay down guidelines for all the 142 civic bodies in Bihar.
“The urban development project covers around 65 percent of the state’s urban area, i.e., 28 cities of the state. Bihar has a major problem of unplanned construction in urban areas but the state government is making serious efforts for planned urban development in the state,” Asnani said.
Sharma said that during consultations with representatives of the Bihar government, a demand was made that Bihar’s Town and Country Planning Bill should be similar to that of Gujarat. “But we explained that a mere copy-and-paste of norms will not work. We will draft the Bill within three months after studying the state’s requirements,” he said.