"Cluster Based Redevelopment of Thane Through Urban Renewal Programme"
BASIC CITY DATA
- Population size: 1,841,488
- Surface Area (sq.km): 128
- Population Density (people/sq.km): 14,387
- Main Source of Prosperity: Industry and Trade
Urban decay is a concern that is significant in major cities globally. In India, many cities are plagued with an excess of dilapidated and unauthorized structures. Also, an encroachment took place over public lands resulting in a deficiency of local amenities, and a poor road network in the neighborhood. Traditional methods of redevelopment that concentrate just on structures sometimes ignore critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges etc.
To address these grave problems, the Government of Maharashtra has introduced special regulation of the Urban Renewal Scheme (URS). Urban renewal is a comprehensive scheme to redress a complex of urban problems, including unsanitary, deficient, or dilapidated, unauthorized housing; inadequate transportation, sanitation, and other services and facilities; haphazard land use; traffic congestion; and social issues.
Thane Municipal Corporation has prioritized 6 Urban Renewal Plans (URPs) out of notified 45 URPs. URP-12 Kisan Nagar, the largest URP in terms of area, covering an area of almost 159.88 ha is undergoing redevelopment first.
The notification is issued by the Government of Maharashtra (GoM) regarding the Revised Development Plan (DP) of Thane city under Section 31(1) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act 1966.
Section 33 of the MRTP Act elaborates on the Comprehensive Development Plan, including detailed development strategies for specific areas. GoM has introduced special regulatory provisions for the URS,' as published on December 2nd, 2020, in Clause 14.8 of the Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulation, 2020.
In the post-independence era, industrialization resulted in an influx of migrants for jobs & better livelihoods. The lack of affordable housing caused blighted areas of unauthorized settlements in the city.
According to TMC assessments, 25% of the overall population lives in unauthorized constructions and occupants/owners don’t have any legal property rights or entitlements. The city has Yeoor Hills on one side and a creek on the other side which limits land supply for greenfield development.
With the objective of achieving slum free planned city, the Government of Maharashtra has exercised provision U/S 37 of the MRTP Act to bring about modification in Unified Development Control Promotional Regulation (UDCPR) regulation to achieve the following goals:
— Incentive-based FSI (To make scheme Feasible)
— Redevelopment of the dilapidated, old, and hazardous building settlements
— Provide affordable, sustainable and climate-resilient housing to beneficiaries
— Localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA)
— Achieve economic, social, and environmental prosperity in the region
Project Started: 05 July 2017
Project Completion: Not Estimated
Inauguration & Open for Public: 5th June 2023
Cluster-based redevelopment is being done for the first time in India on the lines of modern township development. It will provide affordable housing with all essential amenities such as safe drinking water, sanitation, transport, recreation spaces etc.
Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has formed the “Cluster Cell Department” in the existing Town Planning Department of the city. For the implementation of the Urban Renewal Scheme (URS), a strategy has been developed after discussions with stakeholders, promoters, and appointed consultants.
The Cluster Redevelopment project enables the collaboration of Government Agencies and Thane Municipal Corporation to provide the regulatory framework, necessary approvals and expertise.
Government agencies at the local, state, and national levels may also offer financial incentives and support. Private real estate developers (promotors) are often the driving force behind cluster redevelopment projects. They invest in and manage the construction of new infrastructure within the clusters, drive economic growth, create job opportunities and in turn get financial benefits.
The cluster development program is financed by various stakeholders which is a case-specific. The major financing agencies will be the government, implementing agencies and promotors.
As part of the “Cluster Cell” at TMC, many experienced town planners, architects, engineers, legal experts, and project managers are executing the specific tasks. Also, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy & Infrastructure Technology (MAHAPREIT) are the expert public undertakings which are appointed as an implementing agency for the URS.
The cluster-based redevelopment initiative of Thane City involves both evolutionary as well as revolutionary ideas.
The existing Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Scheme facilitates redevelopment of the declared slums, and authorized buildings but it has no provisions to include the unauthorized buildings, which are of major concern in Thane. Considering this policy gap, URS policy has evolved, where unauthorized buildings can also become eligible for redevelopment.
The cluster-based approach for the redevelopment is implemented in other parts of the world but will be implemented for the first time in India by incorporating unique features which makes the initiative a revolutionary step in the Indian context.
DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME
After the implementation of the Urban Renewal Scheme (URS), the following outcomes will be achieved
1) Key Learnings for the transformation of existing Indian cities into climate-resilient cities.
2) Improved quality of life in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects.
3) Improved individual and community health due to improved living conditions
4) Increased energy efficiency and increase in the share of renewable energy to fulfil the energy demand of the city
5) The conservation of ecologically sensitive areas and respective biodiversity.
6) Attract investment in the region which will generate new opportunities.
7) Increase in sense of stewardship among citizens due to improved public amenities and infrastructure
The Urban Renewal Scheme (URS) involves processes of area delineation, capturing existing features, analysis of statistical data, spatial data, scheme design, and implementation.
At each stage, they require spatial data such as total station survey, and orthomosaic maps developed by experts to generate baseline status, and know the footprint of existing structures, and physical features of the area. The ‘occupants/tenants’ data such as tax records and existing carpet area is recorded with the biometric survey.
The Urban Renewal Scheme (URS) specifically groups the city localities into 45 URP of minimum area of 10,000 Sq.m., which are posing a threat to the residents due to the old & dilapidated nature of buildings. It also planned to preserve and conserve the natural and cultural heritage of Thane.
The Urban Renewal Scheme (URS) is an approach for inclusive planning & prioritizing the needs of all community members in Thane city. It aims to create equitable, accessible, and sustainable urban environments by ensuring affordable housing, accessible infrastructure, social services, and opportunities for economic growth.
All populations residing in slums & unauthorized buildings will become potential beneficiaries of the Urban Renewal Scheme (URS).
RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development