The Urban Development Department which was previously known as Metropolitan Development Department presently has three Branches viz. Metropolitan Branch, Town and Country Planning Branch and Urban Land Ceiling Branch, each of which has a different history of its own.

During the fifties, the Irrigation Deptt. took up a township project in the North-Eastern suburb of Kolkata by the name of Salt Lake City.

In 1961 the Kolkata Metropolitan Planning Organization, the first of its kind in India, was set up through a resolution of the Development and Planning Deptt., to develop a comprehensive development plan for the Metropolis of Calcutta.

Later on, the Development & Planning Department set up separate Development Authorities for Siliguri-Jalpaiguri, Asansol- Durgapur, Digha, Haldia, Sriniketan - Santiniketan and Jaigaon and Planning Authorities for Burdwan, Midnapore - Kharagpur, South 24-Parganas, Mirik, Bakreswar, Barjora - Gangajalghati, Farakka, Gangasagar-Bakhali, Tarapith-Rampurhat, Furfura Sharif. The purpose was all-round development and preparation of Land Use and Development Control Plan (LUDCP)of the local areas.

All the above Development Authorities and Planning Authorities were created under the Town & Country Planning Branch of the Development and Planning Department.

For all round development of certain other local areas, Kanchrapara Area Development Scheme (Kalyani Township) and Patipukur Township were undertaken by the Development & Planning Department in the fifties and sixties.
  Later on, as the activities of these two Sectors gradually gained momentum two full fledged offices in the name and style of Kalyani Estate Office and Patipukur Estate Office were established under the said Development and Planning Department.

Subsequently in 1966 Kolkata Metropolitan Water & Sanitation Authority (KMW & SA), and again in 1970, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) were established for implementation of a large-scale urban infrastructure development programme, the objective of which was to arrest the rapid deterioration in the urban involvement of Kolkata Metropolitan Area and to address the emerging urban aspirations of the urban people.

In 1912 Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) had started operation with a programme of development of urban infrastructure of the city of Kolkata in terms of the Kolkata Improvement Act, 1911 (K. I. Act). Both KIT and KMW & SA were later placed under the administrative control and supervision of the KMDA Board for integration and quicker implementation of various Urban Development Projects within the KMA.

The Urban Land Ceiling Branch with a directorate at Kolkata and sub-divisional offices in the districts were set-up under the Land and Land Reforms Department under the Urban land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act, 1976. Later on, it came under the Urban Development Department.

In the late sixties HRBC (Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners) was setup under the HRBC Act. 1969 for the purpose of construction of the third bridge across the river Hooghly. It was, subsequently transferred to the Deptt. of Transport.