‘Open spaces’ plan rejected,BMC to rework it

After demanding representation in committees on open spaces in the city,corporators and members of the BMC improvements committee ‘recorded’ the civic administration’s proposal to approve the revised open spaces policy.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:May 12, 2012 2:31 am

After demanding representation in committees on open spaces in the city,corporators and members of the BMC improvements committee ‘recorded’ the civic administration’s proposal to approve the revised open spaces policy.

Members will send in objections and suggestions by May 20,following which another 45 days will be given for BMC to address these and rework the policy. The current draft has been rejected for the time being.

While the new policy proposes that citizens’ groups be given a chance to maintain open spaces through competitive bidding,members have asked for a preference to be given to trusts already carrying out activities on the land stating that NGOs will be financially inadequate to maintain them and thus big corporates will end up getting the maintenance rights.

The open space policy had been reworked to ensure that 75 per cent of an open plot the developer is supposed to maintain for public is not usurped by him. As per the caretaker policy,an open plot can be handed over to a private body through tendering.

A maximum of 25 per cent of the plot can be commercially exploited by the developer and 75 per cent has to be maintained by him.

The revised policy seeks to give these rights to an NGO or a citizens group.

Questioning the ability of local NGOs or ALMs to pay Rs 50 lakh as deposit for a single plot,Samajwadi Party corporator Ashraf Azmi said,“The policy has been framed with the intention to benefit corporate houses and not citizens.”

However,it is common knowledge that Shiv Sena and BJP corporators are opposing the policy as a number of their politicians are currently running trusts on these plots reserved for recreation ground or playground and are hence asking for preference to be given to the existing trustees during the bidding process.

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