Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Consideration must now be given to some of the additional legislative measures which Governments might use to secure further advance. The Town Planning Act is a British legislative measure which has proved of considerable value in the development of housing schemes. So far, the Madras Presidency is the only province which has placed such an Act on the statute book, but apparently there has been considerable reluctance on the part of municipal councils to make use of the powers conferred by it, whilst the Provincial Town Planning Fund, the creation of which is provided for in the Act, has not yet been constituted. It is true that extension schemes have been planned in Madras City and in one or two other towns in several municipal areas civic surveys have been considered or undertaken, but so far little or no amelioration of the housing conditions has been effected. If the present Act is ineffective, the earliest opportunity should be taken to make it an adequate weapon. In Bengal and Bombay Presidencies particularly, Town Planning Acts are urgently required and we believe that in other provinces this form of legislation would be found useful. These Acts should provide for the acquisition and lay-out of suitable areas for working class populations and for the opening up and reconstruction of congested and insanitary areas. Schemes approved by the Ministry of Health should be eligible for Government grants and loans. Other sections of the same Acts should deal with the "zoning ' of industrial and urban towns, whereby in future the erection of new factories or other industrial concerns can be prohibited, except in areas specially allotted for industrial development, and other areas can be reserved for industrial housing schemes. The principle of zoning has been applied with advantage in other countries and its early application in India would prohibit for the future the haphazard growth which has so much enhanced town-planning difficulties. Other provinces might well follow the example of Madras by appointing a Director of Town Planning so that expert advice might be available, not only to local authorities, but to leaders of industry.