A GROWING list of errors in Mumbai’s newly sanctioned development plan (DP) has allegedly forced the Maharashtra government to keep it in abeyance for at least another two months. While the new blueprint was to come into effect from June 22, sources said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led urban development (UD) department will issue a notification in the next couple of days regarding the delayed implementation.
The much-awaited DP had received the chief minister’s sanction on April 25 and was published in the official gazette on May 23. It had mentioned that the new DP will be implemented after one month as per provisions of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966.
But several discrepancies have been noticed in the newly sanctioned plan. Acknowledging that several corrections were needed, the government has now bought more time before bringing it in force. With the new DP in abeyance, sources said regulations governing the existing development plan will continue to be in force.
The new DP had lowered permissible floor space index (FSI) for construction in the suburbs of Mumbai as compared to existing levels, sparking fears that construction activity would come to a halt in the region. Though the government has already declared its intention to restore this back to the previous level, the proposal is part of the ‘Excluded Part (EP)’ of the new plan, on which public suggestions and objections have been sought and a final sanction is yet to be accorded.
Under existing rules, FSI of up to 2.5 is permissible for buildings in the suburbs while the new approved plan limits the same to FSI 2. In another deviation from existing provisions, the new plan does not index the extent of the paid FSI that can be purchased from the open market to the width of the fronting road.
With the deadline for filing of suggestions and objections for proposed regulations included in the EP expiring on June 22, the government will now see if the new plan can be implemented after the EP is sanctioned within two months.
Another error in the sanctioned new plan is that it prescribes multiple models for the computation of FSI. “In some provisions, it states that the FSI must be computed on the basis of gross plot area while in some other provisions, the same is counted on net plot (minus the area to be set aside for reservations) basis. Also, the compensation to be given for the development of public reservations varies widely from existing provisions,” said a senior civic official.
A 22-acre foreshore of the Erangal beach in suburban Malad was shown as being in a residential zone. The government has further controversially proposed to turn it into a public garden or a park in the EP even as revenue records show that the foreshore has been reserved for fish drying activities of the local fishing community. Other blunders have also been noticed in the proposed land use, which are also likely to be corrected.
On Wednesday, representatives of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-CREDAI) met Fadnavis seeking continuation of the DP 1991 till the EP is sanctioned.
The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, has demanded extension of time granted to people for submitting suggestions and objections for draft proposals in the EP. Sena legislator Anil Parab and former Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu have also met the chief minister with the request.
Invoking the Marathi card, the Shiv Sena has complained that the new DP had still not been published in the local language. “It is in violation of the government’s resolution issued on May 7, which had made it mandatory that all official documents must be in Marathi,” said Parab.
He also argued all the maps regarding the new plan were yet to be brought into the public domain, making it difficult for people to understand the proposed land use changes.