Arita Sarkar, The Indian Express
After the Revised Draft DP 2034 was published, the BMC received more than 60,000 responses, which were reduced to 12,900 to avoid repetitions.
After the revised draft of the Development Plan (DP) was released by the the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in May last year, the civic body, after omitting all duplications, had recorded at least 12,900 suggestions and objections from residents. After the public hearings that were conducted by the planning committee completed on December 15, only 1,500 suggestions have been accepted and included as recommendations in the DP report.Last month, the deadline for the submission of the planning committee’s report was extended by another three months and the report is now expected to be submitted to the general body by March.
After the Revised Draft DP 2034 was published, the BMC had received more than 60,000 suggestions and objections which were reduced to 12,900 to avoid repetitions.
Civic officials, however, stated that suggestions were further clubbed and reduced to 7,800 individual cases.
“Initially, we had clubbed all the suggestions of the same subject if they fall under the same City Title Survey (CTS) number. However, after the hearings were conducted, we saw that there were further repetitions in cases where a certain reservation was affecting citizens from multiple CTS numbers,” said an official.
Citing an example, the official explained that in the case of the Central Island Freeway, people from multiple wards were being affected.
“We clubbed the suggestions on the basis of the decision. If the same recommendation applies, then all those suggestions were counted as a single entry,” said the official. He added that the planning committee has accepted certain objections which are affecting a large number of people, for instance the Coastal Road or the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road.
Among the suggestions and objections which were not accepted by the members of the planning committee include those which opposed the reclamation of 300 acres of the bay area of Cuffe Parade and converting it into Central Park, a green space to serve as a recreational space for the public.
After the project was announced in the draft DP, environmentalists such as Stalin D, Vidya Vaidya and Debi Goenka had pointed out the environmental implications and had stated that reclamation on such a massive scale would lead to erosion of other parts of the coastline.
Other government agencies like the Mumbai Port Trust and the Salt Commissionerate had also put forth their objections against the reservations of open spaces and affordable housing on their lands. Civic officials stated that their suggestions of removing the reservations have not been entertained by the planning authority either.
“The planning authority can place reservations on their lands. The government agency can always provide those amenities for their staff members or slum settlements on their land,” said the official.
The official stated that after the completion of the hearings, the planning committee is now examining the suggestions and objections of citizens who never turned up for a hearing.
“Most of these are repetitions. However, until the DP report is submitted, there is room for change and there may be a small number of additions to the recommendations,” he said.