With a record 87,000 objections and suggestions being submitted,the Planning Committee formulating the Development Plan (DP) of the city is going to have a tough time scrutinising and studying each. The draft DP has submissions even from the civic administration,at least two,besides NGOs and almost all political parties,including the ruling NCP.
We received a record submission of suggestions and objections for the draft DP. It shows the public participation in the DP and is a welcome step, said city engineer Prashant Waghmare.
The state government would appoint a Planning Committee to look into each submission and take a decision within two months, Waghmare said.
The 87,000 submissions include 2,200 emails and the figures are more than for any DP in the past. Most submissions relate to retaining reservations made by the civic administration in the draft DP and which were changed by corporators in the general body meeting,civic officials said. The Planning Committee may accept or reject suggestions and objections. It has to further hold hearings for selected suggestions and objections to enable the applicant to make a detailed presentation.
The committee,after completing the exercise of considering each submission,would make additions to or deletions from the draft DP and table it again in the civic general body meeting of PMC. The draft would then be forwarded to the state government for approval.
As for the speculation that the state government would most probably scrap the draft DP,Waghmare said the PMC would complete its exercise and the draft would provide the base for the state government to take a decision on it within a year.
The civic administration would submit the draft DP to the state government with the proposed provisions in the draft prepared by the Planning Committee and suggestions of public for the state government to take the final decision.
Considering the delay in the state nod for the DP of 23 merged villages,Waghmare said the civic administration would seek part-approval of the DP of the city as was followed for the DP of 23 merged villages. Among many objections submitted by Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrian First,some are,All pedestrian foot-overbridges,skywalks,subways proposed in the DP should be cancelled and safe at grade facilities be provided for pedestrians (proper usable footpaths of adequate width,zebra crossings,pedestrian refuges,pedestrian signals etc.) Only in exceptional cases should pedestrian subways that are safe and user-friendly be considered on a case to case basis as per need,feasibility and utility determined after scientific studies,cost benefit analysis and public consultations.
He submitted that,All changes affecting the High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) be cancelled and the project as per original alignment be taken up for implementation on priority.
The BJP city unit marched through the streets in protest against the draft DP,alleging it has been drafted with the interest of builders and developers in mind. The party submitted 8,000 suggestions and objections. There are serious shortcomings in the DP. It seems to be in favour of the real estate industry, said BJP city chief Anil Shirole. He said the party would continue to protest at various levels and ensure the DP is not approved in the present form.