Cities in the global south are undergoing changes in the production structure brought about by globalization and liberalization. These cities also witness significant informalities in terms of shelter and livelihoods. These phenomena are reflected in the urban land use patterns. Planning in these cities is under pressure to adapt to the dynamic urban condition but is constrained by the technical and bureaucratic process of master/development plan making. Through an empirical study of an area in the suburbs of Mumbai (India), this paper shows the wedge between planned and actual land use and discusses the reasons for this dichotomy. The paper argues that master/development plans based on technical principles with micro-level detailing are unable to foresee and hence or otherwise adapt to the economic dynamics and spatial restructuring in Mumbai; they are partly undermined by “occupancy urbanism”. We discuss how these factors are accommodated within and outside the scope of the development plans. The paper calls for a re-thinking of urban planning in India so that plans are better able to reflect the requirements and needs of the citizens.