Even after seeking two extensions from the state government to approve the draft Development Plan 2014-2034, discussions among elected corporators on the subject remains unlikely to begin before next month. Over the last couple of weeks, while 109 corporators have come forward with specific queries about their wards, only 22 suggestions and objections have been submitted by corporators so far.
Acting on the demands of the corporators, officials from the DP department have given four presentations on the DP report and Development Control regulations based on the suggestions made by the planning committee. Since May, the officials have given one presentation at the Congress head office in Fort, one at the Sena Bhawan in Dadar and two presentations for the entire set of 227 corporators at Rang Sharda hotel in Bandra and at Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central.
After the presentation, 109 corporators approached the officials with their individual queries. “Several corporators came with their doubts which we clarified. They also took the DP sheets, which are maps of their wards,” said a civic official.
Corporators such as Ram Barot from BJP, Sangita Sutar from Shiv Sena and many others from all parties barring Samajwadi Party have submitted their suggestions to the mayor. Of the 22 responses, 10 are from Shiv Sena, while seven are from BJP, two are from Congress and three are from the NCP. Most of the suggestions involve changing of reservations while some ask for a part of natural areas to be included in the area allotted for affordable housing or in gaothan or koliwada areas.
Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said: “An extension of two months has been granted and we will wait for all the suggestions and objections to be submitted. We will decide the plan in the next group leaders’ meeting.” Once all the suggestions and objections were in, Sena sources said, these would be taken up for a discussion in the group leaders’ meeting where the further plan of action would be decided. An official said the plan was to shortlist the list of responses with the DP department officials and take up a truncated list for discussion in the general body meeting.
Civic officials, however, insisted that shortlisting of the suggestions would not yield any constructive results. “The corporators are elected representatives and as per the norms they have the right to voice their concerns and suggestions. However, they can submit their responses which can be attached to the DP document and the planning committee’s report before sending it to the state government for a final approval. There is no need for a second discussion in the group leaders’ meeting,” said the official.
The official also added that the mayor had not assigned any deadline for submission of response by corporators, which might lead to the demand for yet another extension. Technically, the general body has time till May 2018, two years after the draft DP was submitted, to approve the document before it is sent to the general body.
After the civic elections in February, the newly elected general body had asked for an extension of 60 days saying new corporators needed time to understand the DP. Earlier this week, the general body asked for another extension to discuss and study the plan. The next general body meeting has been scheduled for June 13.