Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar on Sunday said violation of master plans and other plans had become a norm in most of the city corporations and town municipalities and stressed the need for preparing plans in tune with the growth of cities.

Speaking after inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of the Town and Country Planning Department, he said urbanisation was an inevitable phenomenon that was being experienced by developing countries. Keeping in mind economic activities and migration of people, the urban planners had to prepare plans and master plans for big cities. The planners had to prepare plans anticipating the growth of cities and towns, he said.

The department had to adopt innovative planning approaches for tackling problems such as housing and traffic caused by rapid urbanisation, he said.

People complained about lack of planning in Bangalore city and at the same time, they violated all rules and regulations while constructing houses and buildings, he said.

Quoting the former Chief Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah, Mr. Kumar said people who violated laws and rules would get more benefits than those who followed rules.

Stating that the Government had sanctioned Rs. 100 crore each to eight city corporations in the State for taking up development projects, the Minister said that the Centre too had been releasing funds to Bangalore and Mysore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The Minister spoke about the Urban Development Draft Policy 2009 and sought suggestions from planners and officials.

Mr. Kumar felicitated the former directors of the department and Mantri Developers for their contribution in the field of planning and housing and said an attempt should be made to provide houses to houseless people in the State.

A. Ravindra, former Chief Secretary and adviser to the Chief Minister, said that the officials of the Town and Country Planning Department should be prepared to face the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation in the era of globalisation. Cities had become the focal centres for growth and were driving the country’s economy, he added.

Referring to the new challenges posed by urban centres, he said the Town and Country Planning Act of Karnataka, 1961, should be replaced by the Urban and Regional Planning Act of Karnataka. To make plans more practical and realistic, the department should undertake studies in cities and towns on various issues concerning the people.

H.B. Mukunda, Director of the Town and Country Planning Department, and other officials of the department were present.

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