HP Govt issues published and notifed Shimla Development Plan
Shimla, June 22
The Himachal Pradesh Government has issued a gazetted notification for the Shimla Development Plan following an order from the Supreme Court. The draft Development Plan for the Shimla Planning Area was initially issued by the Director of the Town and Country Planning Department on February 8, 2022. It was subsequently published in the Rajpatra (e-Gazette) of Himachal Pradesh on February 11, 2022, inviting objections and suggestions from affected individuals within a 30-day period.
After duly considering the received objections and suggestions, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh has approved the Development Plan for the Shimla Planning Area without any modifications. The approved plan has been made available on the official website of the Department of Town and Country Planning at www.tcp.hp.gov.in.
The recently approved Shimla Development Plan includes new provisions regarding the number of floors, habitable attics, and garages in buildings. It allows limited construction of one floor plus an attic in green areas, while core areas permit two floors and an attic. Under the plan, new residential constructions can reach a maximum height of 21 meters with a parking floor and habitable attic. Without a parking floor, the maximum height is restricted to 16.5 meters. Commercial construction, on the other hand, can have up to four floors.
The approval of the Development Plan renders the need for supervisory committee approval unnecessary, and any previous orders from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) become ineffective upon its publication.
It should be noted that Shimla has been developing based on the 1979 Interim Development Plan (IDP) thus far. The Shimla Development Plan has been prepared under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme. The plan utilizes geographic information system (GIS) technology and encompasses the Shimla Municipal Corporation, along with its surrounding areas, including Kufri, Shoghi, Ghanahatti Special Areas, and additional villages.
The Development Plan aims to ensure systematic and sustainable development in Shimla, promoting eco-friendliness, economic growth, and a better quality of life. It focuses on efficient land-use planning, environmental conservation, regeneration, and the provision of adequate amenities and community services. The vision of the plan includes developing a new counter magnet town near the Airport (Jubarhatti) and Jathiya Devi as a commercial and residential hub. Additionally, satellite townships at Ghandal, Fagu, Naldehra, and Chamiyana Area near the four-lane bypass road are envisioned to decongest the core area and reduce dependency on Shimla for basic urban amenities.
Certain areas such as Tatapani, Naldehra, and Fagu have been designated as No Development Zones (NDZ), where only uses permitted under relevant legislation will be allowed. The plan also emphasizes the preservation of forests, vegetation, natural hydrological bodies, and built heritage. It advocates for the development of walkable streets, sustainable tourism practices, and the preservation of Shimla’s unique character as a cherished hill station.
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