The Fadnavis government has sanctioned 2,339 modifications to the draft Development Plan (DP), which was published by the Mumbai municipality in May 2016. According to information, the changes included those made to the development control regulations and floor space index norms, and modifications of public reservations shown in the draft plan.
Sources said between the publication of the draft plan and the government sanction, which came on Tuesday, there were over 100 cases where applications or recommendations for deletion of public open space reservations were made.
But Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who was part of a state scrutiny panel that finalised the modifications, has said the “cases demanding deletion of open space reservations were all rejected”. Incidentally, sources also said that around 25 such applications for open space deletions came after the plan had been placed before the government.
It included applications from hospitality industry giants seeking removal of public open space reservations imposed for restaurants around Mumbai airport. But as these reservations have existed before the hotels came up and are also seen in the existing plan, the applications were eventually not entertained, sources said.
A state-appointed planning committee, which had evaluated public comments over the draft plan, had recommended 2,245 changes to the regulations and plan itself. Out of this, Mehta said 1,966 had been accepted.
The committee itself had recommended modification of 53 public reservations, including deletion of open spaces in 42 cases. The civic general body had made 266 amendments of which 35 were to do with open space deletions. Mehta said the government has accepted 104 suggestions made by the general body.
He added that the scrutiny committee had further found 124 instances where existing open space reservations had not been shown. These were all pulled back. “This led to the addition of 42 hectares of open space,” Mehta said. Ironically, 960 hectare of unutilised land belonging to Mumbai Port Trust that was originally part of the DP is now being withdrawn, with the government planning to offer Special Planning Authority status to MbPT to these lands.