April 23, 2015 1:29:03 am
A day after the state government directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to rework the controversial draft development plan (DP) 2034, urban development experts pushed for fundamental changes in the plan instead of just rectifying the errors.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), a body of town planning experts, said, “There are two parts to the process. One part is to correct the mistakes in the plan, which is possible in the next four months. The other part is to equate the plan with the aspirations of people in the city, which are the fundamental changes. This means provisions for affordable housing, digital inclusion, more open spaces, inclusion of all sectors in the city and an eco-friendly plan.”
From the time of its release in February 2015, DP 2034 has been criticised for omissions of heritage and religious structures, marking residential areas as commercial and showing road-widening cutting across buildings.
Milind Mhaske, project co-ordination at Praja, an NGO, said, “There is no clarity on the whole announcement of scrapping the DP. If they want to create a citizen-centric plan, their emphasis should be an overhaul of the entire plan and not just rectifying the errors, which can be done easily anyway.”
Activists have also demanded inclusion of slums in the plan along with areas under special planning authorities (SPAs) like SEEPZ, Dharavi, Backbay, Oshiwara, Wadala, Manori-Gorai, Bandra-Kurla Complex and Bandra Reclamation. They have also demanded inclusion of informal sectors of Mumbai like hawkers, weekly market vendors, naka workers, construction workers, rag pickers and many other urban poor informal sector communities who stand excluded from the plan.
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