Within a month, users will be able to access the entire development plan of Mumbai city in India and the rest of the civic bodies online. This can help them check whether their building is on a legitimate plot of land. It can also inform them which plots in their neighbourhood are reserved for open spaces and playgrounds.
The Urban Development Department had commissioned the Nagpur-based Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre (MRSAC) for this project last year. Under this project, MRSAC has scanned the development plan sheets and the digitised plans have been superimposed on the city survey maps to get an accurate image. Around 250 maps are being digitised, including those of 23 municipal corporations.
“Nearly 90 per cent of the work has been done by MRSAC and the plans should be put online by the end of this month,” said Deputy Secretary of the Urban Development Department, Suresh Kakani.
While city and town development plans – layout of different zones, reservations, amenities – are supposed to be in the public domain, they have so far not been easily accessible to the citizens. It involves making umpteen trips to the concerned civic body and getting a manual copy of the plan, which is difficult to replicate. Also, land use stated in the development plans is often changed in the absence of transparency, with reservations for playgrounds and open spaces being converted for residential or commercial uses.
Digitisation will bring the plans in the public domain, making it easier for investors to know whether the land titles are clean. Since the plans contain dynamic information, the department has decided to appoint a town-planning official to make changes to the plan when it is modified. The official will be given a security password to access the digitised maps.