April 23, 2015 1:14:10 am
A day after announcing the Maharashtra government’s decision to direct the BMC to republish the much-controversial Development Plan (DP) 2034, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Wednesday that the errors apparent in the DP were so blatant that it seemed reservations had been added or lifted to benefit individuals.
He said it would be a huge setback for the city’s image if it can’t even prepare a DP properly.
“There can be differences of opinion on what Mumbai DP should be like. But the errors apparent in land use and reservations are huge. It seems reservations have been put or lifted for some individuals. Land use for vast stretches has been changed, green cover has been removed,” Fadnavis said while speaking at the “Housing For All” conclave organised by the builders’ body National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
The CM said the report of the review panel headed by the Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya showed that merely introducing changes through suggestions and objections from public was not possible in view of the large-scale irregularities. “We have to rectify the errors. Then maybe the 25,000-odd suggestions and objections we have received so far will go down to 3,000,” he said.
Citing examples of glaring blunders by the BMC in its preparation of DP, Fadnavis said the plan had earmarked some pits dug for government-sanctioned construction work as water bodies based on what they perceived through Google Earth. “Mumbai’s image will be hit if the city can’t even prepare a DP properly. In governance, DP is an instrument to develop city’s infrastructure, amenities and green space. People have the right to decide on the DP as it will determine the future of their city for the next 20 years,” Fadnavis said, adding that in the four-month interim period until the BMC republishes its revised draft DP, the 1991 DP will be applicable.
The CM, however, said, “But the new draft DP may also have shown some of the reservations rightly. So in case of conflicting reservations in the two, we will follow the principle of strictest of the two reservations,” he added.
Fadnavis said action would be taken against those responsible in case the errors were found to be intentional. Replying to a long-standing demand by builders, Fadnavis also said that the government was open to the idea, mooted by developers, of allowing private architects to sanction building plans so as to simplify procedures. “We could give architects such powers in the revised draft DP,” he said.
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