Himachal Govt issues published and notifed Shimla Development Plan

Himachal Pradesh Government issued gazzatted notification of Shimla Development Plan on Wednesday after SC order on the matter.

A notification issued by the government said that the draft Development Plan for Shimla Planning Area was issued by the Director, Town and Country Planning Department, Himachal Pradesh on February 8, 2022 and same was published in the Rajpatra ( e – Gazette ) , Himachal Pradesh on February 11, 2022 for inviting objections0 and suggestions  from the persons likely to be affected thereby within 30 days from the date of publication in Rajpatra ( e – Gazette ) , Himachal Pradesh .

Government said that  whereas objection(s)/suggestion(s) received in this behalf have been duly considered or rejected.

Notification further said that  now in exercise of the powers the Governor , Himachal Pradesh is pleased to approve the Development Plan for Shimla Planning Area , without  modifications. 

 It has been hosted the official website of Department of Town and Pradesh with URL Country for Planning , Himachal Plan / PlanDoc020220507 122327  .pdf .

  The same is hereby published in the Rajpatra (e-Gazette) of Himachal Pradesh with referred URL linkage as required under sub-section (4) of section 20 of the Act ibid.  A Development Plan is available for inspection during office hours in the following offices.

It is worthwhile to mention that state cabinet on Monday ( 19 June ) approved the final draft of the Shimla Development Plan ( SDP ) , which includes new provisions with regard to  the number of floors, habitable attic and garage in a building.  

The SDP also permit limited construction  of one floor plus an attic  in green areas, while two floors and an attic would be permitted in core areas. 

According to plan new residential construction would be allowed upto 21 meter with parking floor and habitable attaic and without parking floor maximum height would restricted to 16.5 meter where as commercial construction would be allowed upto four floors.

There is no need of approval from supervisory committee and NGT order would become ineffective with publication of Development Plan. 

 Shimla is still being developed in accordance with the 1979 Interim Development Plan (IDP). The SDP has been prepared under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme.  

It is worthwhile to mention that it is GIS – based development plan for Shimla Planning Area comprises of Shimla Municipal Corporation and its surrounding areas including Kufri , Shoghi and Ghanahatti Special Areas and additional villages .  

Counter Magnet Towns The development plan is a set of strategic guidelines to validate systematic planned development in Shimla, which is sustainable, eco friendly and conducive to economic growth.

  The DP attempts to meet the emerging challenges of urban infrastructure and focuses on efficient land-use planning, environmental conservation, regeneration, and improving the quality of life by creating resilient and efficient infrastructural systems with the sufficient provision of amenities and other community services while upholding  the social, community and cultural considerations.  

The vision of the DP Shimla envisages the development of a new counter magnet town in the peripheral area near the Airport (Jubarhatti) and Jathiya devi .Educational Hub This counter magnet town will serve the purpose of commercial as well as residential needs of the increasing population. 

 Apart from one major counter magnet town , satellite townships at Ghandal , Fagu , Naldehra and Chamiyana Area near four-lane by-pass road can be envisioned in line with the development trends as well as to decongest the core area.

 Developing activity-based satellite towns will reduce the dependency of the residents of these areas and adjoining areas on Shimla for basic urban amenities such as education , health , trade and commerce . 

Tatapan, Naldhera and Fagu are identified as No Development Zones ( NDZ Identifying the areas strictly not to be disturbed and no other uses to be allowed in these zones except those permitted under the relevant legislation.

Plan keep slope of land in NDZ). The areas with very steep slopes are not suitable for development, while areas with low slopes are highly suitable for development. As per expert report  , land with a slope greater than 45 degree couldnot be considered suitable for me.

Protection of forests and vegetation : 44 per cent of the total planning area is covered by forests and 22 per cent is used for agriculture . Thus, in order to maintain the ecological balance, the land area under forests shall be reserved and protected.

 Preservation of natural hydrological bodies: Identifying the water bodies and limiting development in the immediate vicinity in the areas surrounding these water bodies, since the conservation of water bodies is very much important to maintain the environmental stability within the Shimla Planning Area.

 Heritage conservation: Restoration, preservation and conservation of built heritage of Shimla is essential to maintain the unique aura of this hill station. 

Development of more walkable streets: Planning and designing for walking is crucial for promoting a healthy public life, creating sustainable neighborhoods, enhancing social life and economy.

  Promoting sustainable tourism: The eco-tourism development approach based on natural preservation imperatives, recognized to be most suited for Shimla also call for utmost care in preservation of traditional green cover on one hand and plantation of evergreen long lasting trees, on the other.

  In conclusion, by recognizing the intricate interface between tourism, heritage, and the environment, Shimla could forge a path towards a resilient and prosperous future, maintaining its status as a treasured hill station for generations to come.

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