The Development Plan (2014-2034), the blueprint that will define the city’s land use plan for the next two decades, will not be ready until 2017. The state, on request from the BMC, has agreed to amend the law so as to grant yet another extension for preparation of the DP that was originally to have into force this year.
To accommodate the BMC request, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan approved an amendment to sections 26 to 31 of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act 1966 last week, allowing all cities in the state with a population of over 1 crore an additional year’s extension for chalking out their DP. Mumbai is the only city in the state to fit the description. The amendment will now be placed before the state cabinet and then brought into force through an ordinance.
This would be the second such amendment carried out in order to grant the BMC extra time. The final draft of the DP was originally supposed to be published in April 2013. The deadline was then pushed to October 2013 under the prevailing six month extension rule. When the BMC failed to meet the deadline, rules were amended to allow all cities with more than 10 lakh population an additional six months to publish their city plans. However, even after the extended deadline lapsed in April 2014, the civic body is far from reaching its target. “The draft DP will now be published in April 2015 after which the process of suggestions and objections leading up to the government enforcing the final DP will take another two years,” said a senior state government official.
Two years ago, the BMC had prepared the Existing Land Use (ELU) plan, a stocktaking of how the last DP (1994-2014) was actualized on ground which threw up a dismal track-record of a mere 15 per cent implementation.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute, said lag time between the ELU and the final DP would mean that by the time the new DP comes into force, several changes in land-use would have rendered it redundant and unimplementable.