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The Himachal Pradesh State is a predominantly hill State with the total population of 68.56 (6.85 Millions) residing in 55673 sq km area. Like any other part of our great country, urbanization is fast increasing and posing variety of problems related to urbanization in Himachal Pradesh as well. Currently urban population of the state is 6.89 Lakhs (0.69 Million) (10.04% of the total population) but it is fast increasing. The Directorate of Urban Development was established during the year 1985-86 to direct, control and monitor the activities of the Urban Local Bodies in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Directorate has been assigned the responsibility to look after the legislative, Administrative and Development activities of 54 Municipalities (Local Urban Bodies) i.e. 2 Municipal Corporations, 31 Municipal Councils and 21 Nagar Panchayats which covers 6.89 Lac urban population (2011 census report) which is about 9.2% of the total population of the state.

From 1986 to May,1994, the Directorate was performing nominal regulatory functions which merely relates to the coordination of development works, release of grants and passing of municipal budgets. Consequent upon the 74th amendment of the constitution and the enactment of 3 new Municipal Acts viz. H.P. Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, Municipal Act, 1994 and H.P Municipal Services Act 1994, numerous Constitutional, Statutory and obligatory functions are entrusted to the Directorate. The 74th Constitutional Amendment envisages greater decentralization of administrative, legislative and financial functions to the Urban Local Government coupled with more and more functional autonomy to all the municipalities.

The Town and Country Planning was created as a small cell in Himachal Pradesh, Public Works Department in the year 1964. During 1979, it was created as in independent Directorate headed by Chief Engineer of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department till 1993 when independent Director was appointed as Head of Department

  • To encourage planned and systematic urban and rural growth in a comprehensive manner.
  • To stop haphazard constructions.
  • To make optimum use of precious urban land.
  • To create conducive conditions for encouraging planned constructions.
  • To plan for creating essential urban infrastructure.
  • To sub serve the basic needs of poor and especially urban slum population.
  • To upgrade environment for conducive habitat.
  • To preserve the hilly architecture and rich heritage of the State