Review of Master Plan of Dehradun

Master Plan of Dehradun, Uttrakhand
Master Plan of Dehradun, Uttrakhand

Defining Master Plan

Master plan is a long term planning, generally for 20 years. It is also a comprehensive planning for service area as per likely spread of city in next 20 years. It describes all works required in next 20 years in phased manner. The designs and estimates are prepared approximately. It finalizes some of the main parameters so that advance action can be taken (Sharma, 2013).
"A Master Plan is the long term perspective plan for guiding the sustainable planned development of the city. This document lays down the planning guidelines, policies, and development code and space requirements for various socio-economic activities supporting the city population during the plan period. It is also the basis for all infrastructure requirements." defined in Master Plan Preparation Committee (Government of India, 2007).

Compliance with laws

Master Plan for Dehradun, 2005-2025 is consistent with the provisions of Mussouri-Dehradun Development Act, 1984. Prepared by Dehradun Development Authority and approved by the Government of Uttrakhand under Department of Housing through Order no. 2573/V-(O) 2008-298 (O) 2005) and approved on 19th November 2008 (Government of Uttrakhand, 2008).
This is second Master Plan to continue the planned development of the capital city of Uttrakhand. The earlier plan was prepared in 1985 for the period of 1982-2001.
We find that the planning authority had failed to prepare the next plan in time and there is a time lag of around eight years. This disruption of the planning process sometimes leads to undesired urban sprawl. Although the master plan has some provisions for increasing the validity of the earlier plan, we can find that this leads to mismatch in the actual increased requirements of infrastructure and other services far beyond the projected increase in demand and thus, supply of the urban amenities takes a backseat.

Content of Master plan

  • Introduction
  • Review of Master Plan 2001
  • Population
  • Shelter
  • Economic Base
  • Community Facilities
  • Traffic and Transportation
  • Landuse
  • Zoning Regulations
  • Plan Implementation and Monitoring
From the content of the plan we can see that the master plan has not covered many of the components of the Master Plan as proposed and supposed to be in plan as provided in the Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) guidelines (Government of India, 1996).

Content of Master plan

  • Introduction
  • Review of Master Plan 2001
  • Population
  • Shelter
  • Economic Base
  • Community Facilities
  • Traffic and Transportation
  • Landuse
  • Zoning Regulations
  • Plan Implementation and MonitoringFrom the content of the plan we can see that the master plan has not covered many of the components of the Master Plan as proposed and supposed to be in plan as provided in the Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) guidelines (Governenment of India, 1996).

Analysing the Master Plan through Some Indicators

VisionSWOT Analysis taking into account:
Aspirations of the citizens
  • There is no any clearly mentioned vision statement in the document.
  • The document is prepared by the Dehradun-Moussaoui Development Authority under the guidance of Department of the Urban and Rural Planning, Government of Uttrakhand.
  • There are no further detailed out plan like zonal plan or local area pla.
The citizen were invited to participate in the objection and suggestion stage after the preparation of the plan and there is no evidence what they did with the objection and suggestions received from the public
Aims and Objectives
  • The document has not stated anywhere in the document what the plan aims to achieve through what sort of objectives.
There seems to be no stakeholder participation in the process of defining aims and objectives.
Approach/ Concept Theoretical concept for planningThe plan is based on the preliminary concept of analysis of the existing situation and framing policies for development.
There is no scientific and systematic approach in the plan preparation.
Stakeholders have some opportunities of interacting during the plan making process, but it seems that many of them did not find any due place.
 Planning Methodology Approach to the Plan preparation/ Planning Framework
Tools and Techniques Used
  • Planning surveys and Workshops for discussion
  • For population projection, the planning team had calculated using the arithmetic progression, geometric progression and incremental increase methods. The final adopted method for the projection is average decadal growth rate method.
  • For assessing the requirement of facilities and services, the norms of the UDPFI guidelines are used.
 Perspective Period Time span as put forth by the PlanThis plan is prepared for a perspective period of 20 years from 2005 to 2025.
PhasingNumber of Phases
Time Span
There is no any phasing in the plan for easing out the implementation process and monitoring of the achievements.
Planning UnitTerritories/ Jurisdictions
  • The planning area is further divided into planning zone with area around 300 – 500 ha.
  • The planning and the municipal boundaries do not match and thus this can hinder the process of devolution of powers to municipal bodies for implementing plans.
 Preparation Time Time taken for Plan  preparation
  • The plan preparation was started 2001 which is also the time of ending of the duration of the previous plan document. So, there is seven year of extension of the validity of the earlier plan.
  • The plan preparation took around seven years.
  • The preparation of the plan was notified on 14 May 2001 and final notification this plan on 19 November 2008.
 Team Constitution of the TeamExperts involved in the preparation of the PlanThe experts of the development authorities and town & Country Planning department of the state, Expert from housing and water supply and other line agencies were also involved at least on paper.
Decision Support SystemsInformation systems Spatial Information
  • The existing facilities location, road networks and topography were main features of baseline surveys.
  • The population growth is the main basis of assessing the present and future needs of infrastructure and housing needs.
Only experts of the development authorities and some line agencies were involved in taking any decision about the plan.
 Non- spatial information
 Norms, Standards and Assumptions Benchmarks for meeting future demands
  • The planning authority has adopted norms and standards defined by Urban Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI).
  • The authority has used intuition of the expert in adapting the norms to suit the requirement of the developmental needs.
Assessment of Future RequirementsPopulation and Work Force estimatesPopulation Size·         The member of the planning team used the data of the census of India 2001 and used simple decadal growth as the projection method for calculating the future growth.
·         The document has described population size, sex ration and work force participation.
·         The socio-economic profile of the population is also studied to some extent.
  • The assessments of various facilities done by the qualified planners and assisted by statisticians.
  • There is no mention of any work-studies during the plan preparation process.
  • Norms and standards of UDPFI were adopted.
There was hardly any role of stakeholders from public domain. Only government agencies involved in service delivery were consulted.
Sex Ratio
Age Sex Structure
Workforce Participation Rate
Pattern of Displacement
Composition & location of Ethnic Communities
Mix of social/ income categories
Formal education for assessment of skilled work force & provision of facilities.
Housing NeedMigrant/ Displaced Population
% of Slum population & Urban Poor
Infrastructure Requirement Water requirement
Waste water generation
Solid waste generation
TransportationAssessment of Travel demand / Traffic Volume
Assessment of Future RequirementsLandLand Suitability based on development constraints/ natural resources /vulnerable/ sensitive areas
Existing Land Utilization/ Land Use
The norms and standards of the UDPFI guidelines and the previous master plans were used for assessing future requirement.
There is no indication of study of land suitability for assigning different land uses and containing development.
Settlement patternThe patter of the settlement distribution is highly organic. Most of the development of urban areas is in the form of linear growth along the transport network and villages are highly scattered.
Land Utilization/ Land Use The landuse distribution is done to optimize the available resources. There is mix of different land uses in different areas to make mixed used development viable.
ShelterHousing Provision of Housing for all communities
  • The housing supply has not been equitably worked out as there is no provision of low cost affordable housing schemes for urban poor in the town.
  • There is hardly any provision of other shelter options like night shelters in the plan.
Other Shelter optionsProvision of other shelter options like night shelters.
Water SupplySources of Water
  • Municipal water supply has been augmented through decentralised water supply system tapping the fresh water springs of the mountains.
  • Some areas have been provided provision of water supply through handpups and tankers in lean seasons when springs dries up.
Proportion of Households having access to safe water supply.
SanitationWaste water Management System
  • There is no waste water treatment facilities mentioned in the document.
Proportion of Households having access to sanitation facilities
DrainageNatural Drainage (Watershed areas)
  • Natural drainage is used for managing the storm water drainage.
  • City has drainage networks which are highly decentralized and most of them do not connect to the main drainage network of the city. This might be due to the hilly terrain of the location of those areas.
Drainage network
Rain water Harvesting Systems
  • There is provisions for promoting rain water harvesting in all buildings in the plan.
  • There is no such provision, which utilizes the natural drainage water into the water harvesting system.
Power SupplyAlternative/ Renewable sources for Power supply
  • Power supply is ensured through the small hydel power plants located in the area
  • The state government is promoting solar and hydel power generation plant.
  • The plan does not allocate specified location of the future infrastructures installation.
Sector-wise consumption
Networks & location of Transformers
Access of low-income communities to Power supply.
Solid waste managementDisposal sites
  • There no provision for sustainable solid waste management systems in the Plan including recycling options. Most of the solid waste are disposed in deep pits.
  • The plan has allocated some areas for disposal of the solid wastes.
Integration of Informal sector
Hierarchy, Number & Distribution
EducationHierarchy, Number & DistributionThe plan does not talk about the equitable distribution of the facilities but the facilities are distributed in the settlements to facilitate easy access.
HealthTypology, Number & Distribution
Socio-cultural facilitiesHierarchy, Number & Distribution
Recreational facilitiesTypology, Number & Distribution
Urban FormPlace making & ImageabilityCity as a place for All.The  Plan provide for seems to promote private urbban developments are there is some provisions of registration of housing  developers and promoters in the city.
The developments will be according to the development norms and codes but the enlisted norms and guidelines are not explicit enough.
Transit-oriented corridors/ Special areas
  • Guidelines & Development Controls
  • Form based Codes
Built HeritageMonumentsSocio-cultural values and Historicity
  • Identification of heritage areas.
  • Provision of Facilities and accessibility
  • There are strategies for conservation
  • Development Controls applied to such places. The provisions of the Archaeological Survey of India will be applicable.
Natural ResourcesWater Bodies & Water channelsOptimum utilization of natural resources/ Minimizing over-exploitation
  • The sustainability concerns has been taken into account while plan preparation and those areas which are ecologically sensitive are excluded from development. These includes sharp slopes, highly vegetated areas etc.
  • Measures have been taken by the Plan for protection and optimum utilization of the natural resources. The water shed management is promoted in rural areas through the local bodies.
Ground water Aquifer recharge zones
Natural Drainage
Wetlands/ Marshes/ Salt pans
Hills/ Ridges
Biodiversity including Forest/  Green areas
Mineral Resources
Climate ChangeGreen House Gas emissionsCompact City Structure/ Carbon Neutral City concept considering like, Green Building Codes, Renewable energy sources, etc.
  • Climate Change concerns been taken into account in the Plan but there seems to be such special provisions to re-enforce the commitments.
  • There is no provision for Climate change Mitigation and Climate Adaptation measures.
  • Public transport is promoted and in most routes theres is at least two public buses plying two and fro in morning and in evening. Although the frequency of the bus services is very low, people can enjoy the ride of public buses.
  • The private transport also get boosted due to the location of the tourist places in and around the development areas.
Heat Sinks/ Carbon Sinks/ Urban Greenery
Energy Efficiency measures
Provision of Sustainable Transport optionsPublic Transport / Non  Motorized Transport
Urban Environmental QualityWater PollutionPollution and degradation of Environment
  • The plan talks about preserving the rich natural scenic beauty and natural quality of the environment but in practice there is no such provision like disposal of wastes in organic manner.
  • Segregation of waste and limiting the number of private polluting vehicles and promoting CNG propelled buses.
Air Pollution
Noise Pollution
Land Degradation (Soil erosion & Desertification)
Disaster ManagementSafety of Vulnerable communitiesSafety from Disasters
  • There has not been any attempt to identify the vulnerable communities residing in the planning area.
  • The plan is supposed to be supplemented with Plan for Disaster Risk Management but that plan is not yet framed and implemented.
Adaptive CapacityAdaptive Capacity of Population, Institutions, Information System & Resources
InclusivityMarginalised groups:
Urban Poor
Informal Sector
  • Inclusion of Marginalised groups/ Population with special needs in Planning & Design, Decision-making and Implementation
  • Equitable distribution of Housing & Infrastructure between various social & economic classes
  • Marginalized groups/ population with special needs has been identified but in reality there is no such provisions like low cost housing for urban poor.
  • Requirement of housing for poor has been included in the Plan w.r.t. standards in the provision of EWS housing in large-scale private housing developments.
  • The developers get more say in the provision so the housing faculties and they build more housing for high end users neglecting the needs of the housing for poorer section of the society.
  • Plan has no such provision as to achieve a definite number of housing for urban poor.
Population with special needs:
Single Parents
Senior Citizens
Disabled Population
EquityDistribution of Housing SupplyCapacity building & empowerment of the Ward community through participation in plan making, decision-making, implementation.Plan does not provide for equitable distribution of shelter and infrastructure in the plan, which is evident from the more housing for high end users through developers without putting any cap on it or any form of obligation for mandatory housing provisions for urban poor.
Provision and Access to Infrastructure & Services
Capacity Building & Community EmpowermentStakeholder Participation in Decision making & ImplementationPlan does not provide for capacity building of the community through provisions for participation and spatial mix of social/ income categories in the plan as there is no such forum and time when public can express their opinion on the issues of developments. Like annual planning schemes or midterm plan review and monitoring.
Social Well BeingPersonal Development Provision of facilities for Health, Recreation, Leisure, Education and SafetyPlan gives a provision of facilities for Security, Health, Recreation, and Leisure & Learning.
Security (Crime & Terrorism)
Economic DevelopmentGDPProvision for economic sustainability in the Plan by ways of employment and economic opportunities, which would contribute, to the State GDP & exports.Plan considers economic sustainability concept for local development, which is evident from the fact that the authority keeps annual renewal of the developer’s license to develop new housing blocks.
Most of the housing projects are on paper and not undertaken for the benefits of the urban poor.
Employment rate in local enterprises/ SHGs/ CBOs/ NGOsLocal Economic Development
 Financing Development Investment Plan Mobilisation of finance/ investments for Projects
  • The mobilization of financial resources are done through various public private partnerships projects and
  • The funding by the state government is another good source of finance.
  • The licences fees from developers and development charges is a good source of income they the plan envisages the utilisation of these resources in providing the good quality infrastructures.
Implementation and EnforcementPhasingThere is no any phasing for Plan Implementation in the planning document.
Plan approvalsDepending on the scale and nature of the scheme, the authority might take few weeks to years for granting approval.
The plan does not make any provision of mandatory delivery of services in specified period.
Responsibility/ AccountabilityThe development authority and wherever applicable the public works department is accountable for development works during Plan implementation and enforcement.
Stakeholder ParticipationWard community, Women, Youth, academia, NGOs, CBOs, SHGs, Pvt Sector, etc
  • The participants come from different section of society and many NGOs and Community Organizations participated in the draft plan stage.
and Review
Plan EvaluationIndicators for Monitoring to evaluate the PlanThere is no any indicators mentioned in the document that can be taken for monitoring to evaluate the impacts of Plan/ development.
Monitoring Mechanism
  • Annual plan monitoring will be done but no clear instruction and no mention of accountable ex officio person or authority.
  • There is no mention of monitoring committee.
Review Mechanism
  • There is no any provision for incorporating the results of monitoring through plan review.
Responsibility/ AccountabilityNo such detailed chart or plan.
Stakeholder ParticipationWard community, Women, Youth, academia, NGOs, CBOs, SHGs, Pvt Sector, etc
  • There is no such provision in the plan.
 Public Grievance System 
  • Under the Right to Information, a public information officer will be available in the authority to respond to the queries of the public.
Legislative SupportAmendments to the ActProposed changes in the Legislative framework if required.
  • This plan is prepared under the Dehradun-Mussourie Development Authority Act 1978.
  • There is need for making the plan more explicit through phasing of the plan.
  • There is need for making the plan implementation and monitoring strong enough to facilitate smooth process of development.
Institutional FrameworkInstitutional Set-upOrganizations responsible at various stages of Plan-making and implementation.
  • Stakeholder Participation is only at draft stage and unaccounted participation at plan preparation period.
  • Mechanism for Stakeholder Participation during Plan-making and Implementation process is in the form of stakeholders meeting and seeking objections and suggestion for the plan.
  • There is no such mechanism like focus group discussion, stratified sampling methods etch which can ensure that the public participation is represented from all levels of the society with respect to education, economic background, ethnicity, caste, religion, gender, age, occupation?
Structure of Participation Mechanism


Brief Summary of Inferences:

  • The Master Plan document is available only in Hindi Language, which limits its usability by experts coming from other areas where Hindi is not their mother tongue. Even Hindi speaking people may find difficulty in interpreting the meanings of some of the terms.
  • The planning document fails in many indicators of a good master plan of a city.
  • The plan seems to be not a well thought plan as it lacks the systematic and rational approaches of planning.
  • There is need for making the plan more explicit through phasing of the plan.
  • There is need for making the plan implementation and monitoring strong enough to facilitate smooth process of development.
  • Stakeholder Participation is only at draft stage and unaccounted participation at plan preparation period. The housing demand of different income group has never been met and there is always deficit in supply to fulfill the demand of the housing
  • The housing for urban poor is a neglected sector as there is not any concrete policy measure like time bound supply of affordable housing.
  • The unregulated development of housing sector is consuming a large chunk of ecologically sensitive area.
  • There is existence of non-hierarchical commercial centres like Malls which are not accommodated in the development controls and guidelines leading to unregulated growth and development in Dehradun.
  • The issue of industries in Dehradun has been a subject of extensive debate, controversy and concern over the past decade but master plan fails to address it.
  • The redevelopment policies of the plan is vague and does not ensure time bound area specific proposals strategies.
  • Overemphasis on increasing mobility and not regulating the growth of vehicles is putting an undue constrains on existing transport infrastructure and this is leading to more development of built forms.
  • Provision of creating new social infrastructure to meet the needs of the urban poor is missing.
  • There is no provision for wastewater is treatment and wastewater goes untreated in the water bodies.
  • The master plan has no provision for controlling the unregulated growth of the mixed use is making many areas of the city congested and eroding the ambience of healthy social living conditions.
  • There are no any mechanisms of periodic plan evaluation during the course of the plan period. There is no monitoring or implementation board or committee to see whether the plan is being implemented or not.
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