The general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday passed a proposal of extending the deadline for submission of the Development Plan report by January 15. Contrary to the civic administration’s proposal to extend the deadline till December 31, Shiv Sena leader Yashodhar Phanse demanded 15 more days for the DP report to be approved by the general body after it is submitted by the planning panel.
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Citing the recent criticism from activists for the schedule which allots very little time for citizens, Phanse, a member of the planning committee, stated that the extension was required since it was impossible to conduct hearings for thousands of suggestions and objections in the given time. “We have been giving every citizen time to speak about their concerns and every hearing for a suggestion is taking at least half an hour. With the holidays for Diwali and Christmas, it is not possible for the committee to submit the DP report by December 31,” he said.
Supporting his stand, leader of the house and Sena leader Trushna Vishwasrao stated that more time was needed to ensure that citizens get adequate time to be heard. “We are trying to give every citizen a chance to speak. After the report is submitted, all corporators need time to speak as well. While we intend to complete the hearings by December 15, we can give more time to citizens if required,” she said. With the approval of the general body, the municipal commissioner will now write to the state government to ask for the extension.
Blaming the Sena for delaying submission of the DP until civic elections, leader of opposition and Congress leader Pravin Chheda said, “The Sena and BJP first deliberately delayed the process of appointing the committee members for months and now are asking for more time. If the code of conduct is announced in January, then the work of the committee will stop. This is their ploy to ensure that the DP doesn’t get finalised before the elections,” he said.
The schedule had allotted a week for the government agencies from October 17- 21 after which MPs, MLAs and corporators were given two days from October 25-26.
Mumbai Cricket Association, Reliance Infrastructure and Tata Power among others have been allotted time between November 2-4 while NGOs will be heard between November 7-10.