Mangalore Urban Development Master Plan – Pros and Cons

 Jun 25, 2010

This fastest growing II tier city in the state has all the requisite credentials to develop further into a mega city. The indicators like proposed infrastructure development allocations by the state, city development plan etc., point towards this possibility. Geographical advantages, skilled manpower, abundant natural resources, excellent connectivity, a maritime all-weather port, are some of the strengths that have brought the Mangalore Special Economic Zone in to the scene here with proposed investments of over Rs.50,000 crore. The population of the city, according to a census survey, is likely to cross 20 lac by 2020. Some of the measures undertaken up by the City Corporation to keep pace with the times include the ADB-sponsored new 20 MGD pipe line, which has addressed the water problems of the city, and the concreting of roads which has been appreciated by various quarters.

Preparing a blue print, keeping all further progress and population expansion in mind, is and should be the foremost task in the agenda of UDA (Urban Development Authority). City beautification including reserving areas for housing, commercial, horticultural and agricultural enterprises has to be shouldered in a scientific manner by the Urban Development Authority to avoid imbalances of any kind. 

Accordingly the Urban Development Authority, under the state government, in it's master plan (2), has made some ammendments before releasing it in June. A similar exercise done on October 1, 2009, had evoked good response from the concerned authorities and elected representatives, who had chipped in with valuable suggestions on town planning systems. The ammendments to this particular master plan needs detailed discussions and suggestions. Former mayor of Mangalore City Corporation , K Divakar's assessment of the recent gazette notification  is as follows:

First the positives:

1. Initially, penalty levied for regularization of irregular housing plots was a whopping 15%. This has now been waived off up to a three-cent plot. The slab structure now is 7½% for three to eight cents and 10¾% for six to 12 cents land. The poor stand to be benefit immensely from these changes.

2. The ammendments on Floor Area Ratio (FAR), increasing the construction opportunity by three times the square area of the site, and the possibility of purchasing the same from the government or private bodies subject to certain restrictions is a ‘first time’ provision, which is commendable.

3. The Master Plan has specified minimum width for all the city roads.

4. Toilet facilities have been made compulsory for all commercial buildings.

5. Opportunity for constructing toilets and floor steps in the set back areas.

6. Construction limit for neighbouring shops raised from 20 to 100 sq mts.

7. The irregular division or partition penalty fee occurring in case of inherited property distribution is being waived off.  

8. Emphasis has been laid on rainwater harvesting.

9.  Encouraging solar energy consumption.

10. The physically challenged have been given more facilities.

11. Allotting 10% for ‘Open space’ in case of commercial blue prints. This will help ‘greenery’ flourish and in turn, have a positive impact on the health of citizenry. 
Now the negatives:

1. In the case of road-widening at present in the city, the facility of TDR is being provided to those who lose or give land for the purpose. The same however, has not been regularized in the present Master Plan.
2. Though the present Master Plan specifies minimum road needs and allocations in front of residential plots, it is feasible to let the TDR rights rest with the plot owner.

3. Hitherto, keeping in mind the residential plot expansion plans, a 10% set back was imposed, excluding the front portion of the concerned road. In the present Master Plan, this has been co-related to the height of the building proposed. This starts from 1.5 metres sideways and back of the building and in accordance with the width of the road, a minimum of two metres is also accounted as set-back.
The difficulties imposed by the amendments stated above can be best demonstrated through an example at the proposed Paduva Layout, where MUDA has come out with site marketting plans.        

In this plan, there are 9 mts x 12 mts (30x40) plots which are about 31 in number. According to the new set back rules, a ground floor of only 548.76 sq ft can be built. 19 plots measuring 6x9 (20x30) sq ft for the low income group have been chalked out. Out of this, according to the notified gazette, a ground floor measuring only 177.54 sq ft can be constructed. In sites measuring 12x18 (40x60) alone, houses of 1404 sq ft can be constructed. However, according to Table 13, an area measuring 140 sq ft will have to be reserved for parking.

If this is the case with the MUDA-approved layouts, then the possibility of building houses in private layouts and in small plots acquired through legacy or otherwise, appears almost impossible, what with the present set back rules and allowing land for road width. 

It is illogical to impose set back according to Table 13 depending on the height of the building. This has been experimented in the city in the past too. Here, the height of the building has been considered as six metres from the ground level. Normally in the city, the ground floor is constructed at a height of  three metres and the first floor also at a height of three metres. They together constitute six metres in construction parlance. However, the foundation itself covers at least ½ metre above the ground level. This will not be considered in the present set back notification. Taking this into account, the residents having ‘minimum set back’ will be unable to construct the first floor. 

The above ‘set back rules’ are prima facie impractical, and are likely to impose hurdles for future constructions. Objections if any, along the same lines with additions, can be sent to the secretary, Urban Development Authority, Vikas Saudha, Bangalore-560001, within a specified period. This would be a concrete step in making our city more ‘residential-worthy’ for the future.     

by Divakar K (Former mayor of Mangalore ) and R Bhandarkar
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Comment on this article

  • prakash, mangalore

    Tue, Aug 17 2010

    The flats sold around Rs.1600 to 2000 per sqft during last october now quoted Rs.2800 to 3500 and above!! Just due to introduction of CDP... Who are benefited from this... imagine.

  • adf, fd

    Sun, Jul 11 2010

    minimum road width wuld be sensible as it would be required for underground drainage system to be built and for ambulance and fire engines to access all parts of the city, but setback area to the rear of the building and sideways really needs to be worked out and altered, so that poor people can build house in small piece of land.

  • Rudolf, Bantwal/Mumbai

    Tue, Jun 29 2010

    Your comments are the true facts Ms. Alvares. There is absolutely no infrastructure in place. Everything is a mess. Infact everytime you go there, one only sees the increase in population density and actual degradation of existing facilities. The most grassroot facilities for a city are absent. Travelling on any road is very dangerous moreso the national highway linking Udipi-Mangalore which is a literal death trap.

  • c ferrer, mangalore

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    This is a real farce- a good way for the so called MUDA staff to blackmail the poor people n to collect bribes from the richer ones.  Road width in residential areas had been given as 20ft but what do we see- only 12/14 ft is tarred but the contractors are paid for 20 ft width of tarring.

    Now they want people to leave another 5 ft clear for what- to get more into their pockets.
    The public must use the RTI route and find out how much was spent for road tarring annually on the road they live in, the area tarred & the name/designation of the official that passed the bills of the contractors- the truth will then come out.

    The Master plan copy is "NOT" available even with MUDA at their main office- if you ask they take hours to even produce the Master copy for sighting.  And this only after greasing palms.

  • Vera Alvares, Mumbai

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    Sounds good on paper! Building a number of high-rises does not make a mega city- it needs sleek well-maintained roads, 24 hours water and elelctricity supply, punctual and systematic public transport and of course plenty of well-laid out pavements for the pedestrians! Which of these exist in Mangalore? The infrastructure needed to sustain the mega city is absent with no hope of development.... At present roads in Mangalore are a total mess, concretized only in several sections, rains have played havoc with the incomplete roads.In one place near Balmatta i saw a section of road covered in blue tarpauline to keep the mud in place and vehicles were plying on it! traveling on these roads is not only a nightmare but dangerous too.
    Electicity is another basic need that is in short supply at the moment, making inverter batteries a neccessity rather than a luxury. Lighting is so dim on the roads that Mangalore seems to be receding into the past....That most important artery, neatly laid-out pavements to keep pedestrian flow moving freely is absent in most places, leaving walkers at the mercy of ruthless drivers.Is the Municipality functioning at all?

  • Rudolf, Bantwal/Mumbai

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    Yep Patrick, as you stated the only big advantage here is for children's education as the quality of education is supposedly good as compared elsewhere and all sorts of courses are available in a small area otherwise, it is not worth it.

  • Patrick, Mangalore

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    One is hype and the other is the underworld money that is being pumped in. What is really thriving in Mangalore is the Education industry and the Real Estate. Probe deeper into these and the ultimate owners are the politicians themselves.

  • Hemanth, France/mangalore

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    Set back with height of the building needs to be revised....first floar should be allowed with minimum set back.....


  • Rudolf, Bantwal/Mumbai

    Mon, Jun 28 2010

    Good informative article for the commoner.

    Yes indeed, this is only a hype. When you see reality, the situation is totally unplanned, haphazard . The real estate prices too have been jacked up to unprecedented levels by the hype. With regards to climate, communal disturbance, water and power the less spoken the better.

  • Vivekananda Paniyala, Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 27 2010

    1. Master Plan for Mangalore is not prepared based on expert committee's study report having regard to the local conditions and environmental aspects. This is nothing but the product of builders lobby.

    2. The MUDA officials have no idea of this beautiful city and its living conditions. MUDA is headed by an RSS leader who is a doctor by profession. And we do not know what is the qualification of members of MUDA. The official engineers are on deputation from thier respective parent departments. And these people are the planners of our city and decide as to how Mangalorens should live in the urban space !.

    3. The MUDA has not published the notification in Kannada language to enable the common man to have his say on this important regulations governing the development and regulation of this coastal city. The english version is also scanned and presented in MUDA's website in small fonts making it difficult to read.
    Fortunately, some planners and engineers of Mangalore have filed good objections.

    4. Some of the conditions imposed in the revised master plan is even unconstitutional !. But, our great politicians have not bothered to study this and initiate public debate. The last date for filing objections is day after tomorrow!.

    5. MUDA should hold a public hearing before approving the plan in its present form.

  • prasanna, mangalore

    Sun, Jun 27 2010

    very good informative article, one the one hand people can build houses in less than 3 cents, but the middle class wanting a two level house will be the most affected with an option of less than 550ft available in a 1200 sq ft plot. absurb, clear vote bank policies.

  • KT, managlore

    Sun, Jun 27 2010

    My suggestion is forget road widening program in existing residential areas. This will only hurt medium class people. Residential villas are not hazardous places. Apartments are hazardous places. Do not give permission to build apartments / flats with in city limit. Look for un developed areas like Shaktinagar, vamanjur….there you build buildings apartments creat USA not in existing developed area like route vise nr 5, up to padil, up to pumpwell, yeyadi,etc. Do not allow to build flats inside lanes.

  • Naveen Shetty, Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 27 2010

    Can someone provide the link where we can download the Mangalore Urban Development Master Plan.

  • shane, mng/dxb

    Sat, Jun 26 2010

    Sir Nice article about our native place thx daiji team. As for the current road widening programme Infact in reality Road narrowing program in many parts of the city. One narrow track of concrete on dual side is not the solution for the city called Mangalore,where you have no option to overtake a Autorickshaw in city. Our city is atleast 20 Years behind in road infrastructure comparing to any gulf country's Roads

  • Rahul Rai, Bangalore

    Sat, Jun 26 2010

    One feels positive on reading this article but when you look deeply into reality, it strikes your face. This is just another gimmick by the author/government to stimulate more investment and greed in a city which is over priced, has a poor climate record and has a huge risk of sea erosion in the next 2 decades. So I say 3 cheers to developers and investors in and around Mlore.

  • Jial Haque, bangalore

    Sat, Jun 26 2010

    Mangalire Development shoul be extreme one, they should not be corrupted,. many money were eaten by the ministers, they have to tell us where the money has gone

  • Ravindranath Shetty, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Jun 26 2010

    Good and informative article from Mr. Divakar & R. Bhandarkar. By reading this article my understanding is road width is restricted by the adjacent plot which is mockery of basic planning logic. Road corridor width should be primary requirement and adjacent plot to be trimmed to accommodate the road corridor width but should not be other way round. Similarly Master Plan must be prepared with intellect not by sentiments. Master Plan should concentrate over all development of the city and should not be based on individual plot.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Fri, Jun 25 2010

    Urban development Authority must be given lessons as to how a city should be planned and developed. Present day development and infrastucture at the cost of greenary and wide green spaces makes our city like a concrete jungle. The old charm of Manglore has been lost for good. Dust and pollution is the reality. Given the roads so narrow and lack of footpaths for people makes Mangloor risky for people to walk. Every nook and corner , even on sidewalks some building are constructed. Are we calling this plan?
    Lack of Water, sewers, garbage collection and electricity makes Mangalore for a TIER II city?

    The city was much habiatable before the so called development but now Manglore city living has become unlivable.
    Thanks to the Master plan.

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