The Role of Planning in Contemporary Urban India: Consequences and Lessons from the Hyderabad Metropolitan Rail: Telangana, India

by Joseph James Whitworth

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: planning; metro rail; transport; india; urban india; land use planning; transport planning; andhra pradesh; telangana; public participation; consultation; public private partnership; PPP; land acquisition; democratic planning; governance; urban governance; transit oriented development; TOD
Record ID: 1313633
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5688


Rapid urbanisation in India has led to its cities becoming increasingly fragmented and subject to massive congestion. Further, the agencies in control of urban development have been widely criticised in planning literature for their role in poor governance processes, corruption and public exclusion. Hyderabad, the largest city and capital of Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), has suffered from these same issues and its residents endure increasingly poor mobility. In line with Central Government policy which advocates for metro rail as an urban transport solution, Hyderabad has entered into the world’s largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) to develop and begin implementing the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR). Given the scale and significance of the project, and the various stakeholders involved, the HMR provides an interesting insight into the current state of planning and urban development in India. This research addresses the implications of the planning process in Hyderabad, and how these are manifesting in the Metro Rail project. The thesis focusses on the role planning plays, and the degree to which it is used in the project. Specifically, the thesis analyses the impacts of the planning process on the wider public, and communities in the city. Further, the research addresses implications on the HMR as a result of broader failures in the planning and regulatory frameworks in the city. Based on intensive fieldwork amongst bureaucrats, planners, non-governmental organisations, academics, journalists, religious communities and business communities the thesis finds that poor planning frameworks have led to underutilisation of, and inadequacies in, the planning process. Further, it shows that the interaction between master planning and regulation falls significantly short of the necessary level for such a large project. In addition, coordination between urban local bodies is lacking, and the understanding of each agencies role in the project is minimal. This planning process has led to inadequacies in consultation with citizens, and exacerbation of impacts on low and middle class communities in the city.