MAYOR SNEHAL Ambekar’s demand of more representation of corporators in the planning committee for the Development Plan has been turned down by the civic administration.
The municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta, in his response to the Mayor’s letter, has instead asked her to expedite the process of nominating the names of three members of the standing committee.
On September 2, Ambekar had written to the municipal commissioner, reiterating the stand Sena corporators had taken during the general body meeting.
In the letter, she had sought clarity on the role and functions of the planning committee as well as a detailed clarification on the process of appointing the standing committee members and the rights granted to them.
Responding to the Mayor’s demands to include all the group leaders in the planning committee, Mehta, in his letter, said that the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act only allowed the appointment of three members.
He added that in order to change the provision, the act had to be amended which was a time-consuming process and could not be done within the two-month time period allotted by the state government to submit the report.
In response to queries about who would be responsible for recording the proceedings, the letter said that the planning committee had the liberty to decide the process and could also take the assistance of the urban planners. Quoting the MRTP act, the letter also pointed out that the planning committee did not have any decision-making powers and its responsibilities only involved analysing the suggestions made by citizens and presenting the recommendations to the general body.
Mehta, in his letter, also urged Ambekar to announce the names at the earliest. Meanwhile, the state government had appointed the three members, including state’s Director of Town Planning N R Shende, former additional chief secretary Gautam Chatterjee, former chief engineer (DP) Sudhir Ghate and former deputy director, town planning, Suresh Surve. They have already had a preliminary meeting with the civic administration.
The appointment order was issued on August 12 which gives the committee another 35 days to conduct hearings for the over 12,000 suggestions and objections.
Crying foul, Leader of Opposition Pravin Chheda alleged that the three state-appointed members had already started working on internal suggestions on amenities made by the civic officials.
“The three members started analysing the internal suggestions, like pumping stations and ward offices, earlier this week. Until all the members of the committee are appointed, the committee cannot start working on the draft. I will take up the matter with the commissioner,” said Chheda.
Calling the Sena out on their delaying tactics in nominating three members for the DP planning committee, Chheda also demanded that the names be announced at the earliest.