With over 25,000 letters flooding the fifth floor office of the Development Plan department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the civic body on Monday shifted the venue for receiving complaints regarding the draft DP 2034 to the newly inaugarated Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) on the ground floor of the heritage building in south Mumbai.
Fifteen officials moved into the CFC are now spending nearly their entire workday accepting, categorising and filing away letters from angry Mumbaikars pointing out errors in the draft plan.
The 15 officials have been divided into three sections — island city, eastern suburbs and western suburbs — to receive suggestions and objections.
The move comes after nearly two months of the fifth floor office of the DP department being inundated with people queuing up to file their letters of objection.
From February 25 onwards, when suggestions and objections were invited from citizens to the controversial draft plan, the DP office saw a long queue outside almost every day, with the line sometimes stretching up to the staircase down the corridor.
“We have not been able to concentrate on any other work in the last two months,” said one employee in the department. “Earlier it was just four civic employees doing the job. We didn’t get time to even look away from our desks during the day. We also do not have space to keep such huge bundles of papers. In fact, the situation was so bad that people did not have space to stand here while submitting their objections,” the employee added.
Upon receipt of every letter, the officials make an entry with the name of the complainant and the suggestion offered.
The letters are then divided into different categories to be sent to the senior officials at the Sion office of the DP department. For now, the letters lie stacked in cloth files atop cupboards in the DP department.
The BMC is accepting letters from the public on the DP 2034 until April 24, a 60-day period since the invitation to citizens. There is no extension to the last date for submissions of suggestions for the plan.