Master Plan and Zonal Development Plan under the U.P. Urban Planning & Development Act

Master Plan and Zonal Development Plan under the U.P. Urban Planning & Development Act

Khushi Gupta


This Blog is written by Khushi Gupta from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New DelhiEdited by Prakriti Dadsena.



The wants, ambitions, and requirements of its inhabitants, rather than the implementation of development plans, zoning rules, and bye laws, determine the growth of every urban community. The social, economic, political, and technical dynamics of urban settlements are always changing. Any development plan’s success is determined by the number of ideas executed and the residents’ willingness to accept them without conflict. and the extent to which citizens’ hopes and ambitions are met. Any development plan’s success is measured by the level of supply of appropriate physical and community infrastructure, as well as improvements in quality of life.

The practise of controlling, regulating, and monitoring all of a town’s physical development activities from time to time is known as urban planning. These procedures are articulated and envisioned in the form of a master plan, which is a wide term for a comprehensive strategy. It is a legal obligation in every city before any development projects are implemented. It primarily focuses on two topics: landuse information and development rules. The nodal authorities responsible for the creation and execution of this plan in India are the state town and country planning departments (TCPD). All physical development ideas and planning rules inside the city must be regulated by this plan.

The Master Plan serves as a tool for achieving these goals. The city is a legal entity that is governed by the local government. The city’s local government has a significant impact on the city’s character, scope, and method of growth. The urban environment is influenced by the numerous utilities, services, and facilities provided by the federal, state, and local governments. The local government is responsible for coordinating the numerous choices that impact the community’s physical development. In order to make judgments, the local government need some technical criteria. It necessitates a legal and technological tool for long- and short-term plans, programmes, and strategies for the community’s orderly growth. This development plan contains such a tool.


The development of goals and objectives, fundamental research/available data/study of current scenarios, plan preparation, and plan execution are the four essential steps of an urban planning programme. The first step, a general statement of community aims and objectives, enables a planning agency to convey the people’ overall values and aspirations for future development. This statement can help to establish a consensus on future development strategy since it outlines general objectives, how they might be achieved, and gives advice for the creation of a plan. The correctness of the underlying facts on which a strategy is built determines its efficiency. So, the second phase is gathering all accessible data, assessing its condition, and then analysing it. This investigation should disclose the community’s requirements as well as the problem. A plan may be made when the goals and objectives have been defined and the research has been completed. In the next 10 to 20 years, this plan aims to show how private and public action may help accomplish specific community objectives and policies. A plan synthesises the information available and provides possible solutions to a given situation.

A plan is not a strict blueprint for the future; rather, it proposes solutions to particular existing issues as well as those that can be predicted in the future. It is both an action plan and a roadmap for future growth. For it to be effective, the community must carry it out not only during the next ten years, but on a continual basis. If a plan is seen as a guide for action, its success is determined by how it is carried out. One approach to put the plan into effect is by public action; if a community develops its public buildings and civic developments in line with the plan, much of the plan’s concept may be implemented. Private activity is also critical to the plan’s successful execution. The plan can influence private development in two ways: through regulation, such as subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances, requiring minimum development standards, and by influencing private citizens to develop their land in accordance with broad community objectives, benefiting both the developers and the entire community.

Process of Preparation of Master Plan: As Per Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act 1973.


STAGE 1: First and foremost, government notice is required in order to develop a city’s Master Plan. The master plan is the responsibility of the local planning authority; but, if the local planning authority is unable to do so, the government can have it created by the state town planning department; the money paid will be recovered from the local planning authority’s budgets.

STAGE II: Once it has been agreed that a master plan will be created, the following step is to determine the master plan’s objectives. These goals are derived straight from the state’s town planning legislation, which governs the master planning process.

STAGE III: After that, surveys of the city’s current situation are conducted, and a data base is created using both primary and secondary sources.

STAGE IV: Once a data base has been created, the following step is to analyse the data and make future projections for the plan period based on the findings.

STAGE V: This stage entails the creation of a draught master plan that includes current and planned landuse maps, transportation networks, facilities and amenities, density patterns, and development stages, among other things. Apart from this, the draught master plan also includes a report that includes the development of regulations and zone regulations.

STAGE VI: After completing the draught master plan, the responsible agency distributes it widely and invites public and other authorities to submit comments and recommendations until a specific deadline.

STAGE VIII: After that, the government must approve the finished draught master plan. The government can either approve the master plan as is or recommend further changes, which the responsible agency must integrate and re-submit to the government for approval. The government has the authority to reject the master plan and request that the responsible agency create a new draught master plan.

STAGE IX: If the government approves the draught master plan, it is termed the final master plan, and the responsible agency publishes it for public reference and sale. It becomes active on the day of publication of the final master plan.

For any unique case, slight changes in the above-mentioned skeleton may occur, but the fundamental procedure stays the same.

Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning Process Compared To The Western Urban Planning Process

The urban planning process in Uttar Pradesh is strongly inspired by western planning concepts, although there are some fundamental differences in the idea itself.

• The whole process of developing a plan is closely governed by the legislative framework in Uttar Pradesh. Furthermore, planning agencies do not go above and beyond what is necessary to satisfy the legal framework. This might be due to decision-makers’ lack of desire and a lack of infrastructure to develop more thorough plans.

• Making a set of objectives, which are directly derived from the text of the act, under which that plan is to be produced, is the first step. This may fulfil the primary duty of the constitutional framework, which is to promote social welfare rather than economic gain, but nothing else is included in the list of objectives that would otherwise be required for the city’s overall growth.

• This is not to say that one should simply appreciate western concepts while criticising Indian customs; rather, the goal is to highlight the flaws in the fundamental conception of a master plan for a city, which would essentially be aimed at the community’s entire growth. Furthermore, Indian cities are not at all like western cities, thus western notions are unsuitable for the Indian setting. Continuous monitoring and assessment are done on a regular basis in the western system, and they closely check that the plan is carried out correctly. Regular monitoring, assessment, and adjustment is carried out because they have superior infrastructure and political will, as well as an enough quantity of trained labour, finance, and specialists. In the west, public engagement occurs at the very beginning of the plan creation process or while the master plan is being prepared.

• However, there are apparent flaws in the Master Plan’s basic idea of objectives.

• The next step is to create a single draught master plan to fulfil the set of objectives that is deemed the best plan for a particular set of characteristics. This is one of the most significant departures from the traditional planning approach in the West. The different alternatives are examined throughout the draught master plan development stage, but these alternates are only evaluated at the proposal level, and no alternate Master Plans are created, as is the case in the west.

• This implies that at the proposal level, multiple alternatives are considered, and the best one is chosen to be included in the draught master plan. In certain ways, this can result in an optimal plan, but it eliminates the option of having many plans and then selecting which one to adopt. Both are very different approaches of preparing a master plan, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages; determining which technique is the most suited is challenging. However, for Indian conditions, the former option appears to be the best, as it needs fewer time and money.

• The public’s input on the suggested draught master plan is the next step. In the Indian setting, this meets the requirement for public involvement. This type of public engagement is also unusual. In the United States, public engagement is employed at every stage of the master planning process, but in India, public opinion is solicited only once the draught master plan is completed. Once the public’s complaints and ideas have been gathered, both on an individual and collective basis, the plan designers will evaluate them and make changes to the draught master plan.


An examination of modern India’s urban planning history indicates that, until recently, Indian planners were heavily affected by western methods and conceptions, notably in the subject of urban planning. One significant example is the adoption of “Master Plans” in British town planning for the future development of towns. However, in Britain, where this notion of “Master Plan” was adopted, it has been abandoned as an ineffective technique of preparing master plans for cities. However, it is still a common practise. In 1968, British town planners abandoned the notion of strict master plans in favour of a new technique for preparing “structure plans” for new cities. These structural plans were papers that contained broad policy principles for future city development, with more detailed zone plans left to the discretion of local governments. These were extremely adaptable and versatile in the face of future technological or political developments. Though some of the positive elements of this structural plan idea were included into the latest master plan of Delhi, nothing was eliminated from the problem, which has become more difficult rather than simpler. Furthermore, resources are constantly scarce in India, and diverse sectors fight for the priority of resource allocation. As a result, the rigidity of master plans renders them obsolete whenever objectives alter over the plan period. As a result, several policy principles have recently been incorporated into the master planning process in order to decrease the rigidity of the master plan.

However, this introduces a new issue into the planning process. If these policies are not submitted to review before to implementation, unintended effects in terms of development patterns may occur. This necessitates the examination of master plan ideas as part of the planning process. Natural forces of urban expansion are unavoidable, and if plan proposals do not take these variables into account, master plans would always fail. The only way to know whether or not the ideas respect this natural element of growth is to evaluate the plan recommendations ahead of time.

Suggestions for the Improvement of Master Plan Approach in Urban Planning

It is now abundantly obvious that, given the aforementioned conditions, the present system of urban development planning process requires urgent revision, modification, and reform:

Legislation at the state and federal levels is required to make significant changes in the following areas:

• Strengthening the State Department of Town and Country Planning by bringing in specialists in architecture, town planning, engineering, conservation, urban design, sociology, economics, management, and information technology, among other fields.

• Strengthening departments through modern equipment and technologically sophisticated staff, as well as enabling plan creation, monitoring, and renewal/revision.

• A new act in the field of urban planning and development. Within the same framework, it should be adaptable enough to handle and accommodate the issues and goals of different municipalities.

• The objectives and goals should be town-specific and able to address and solve the situation at hand.

• To minimise delays, there should be an inbuilt system of frequent monitoring and assessment, as well as capabilities of plan change up to a certain level through local authorities.

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