Private developers can now construct schools on civic land

Private developers will now be allowed to construct educational institutions on land reserved for civic schools.

Written by Express News Service | Published: September 14, 2012 12:59:56 am

Private developers will now be allowed to construct educational institutions on land reserved for civic schools. In exchange,they will have to develop 15 per cent of the plot for a public school,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Improvements Committee decided at a meeting on Wednesday.

Based on the present Development Plan,837.63 hectares or two per cent of the total land use in Mumbai,is reserved for educational amenities. “Land owned by the BMC in these reserved areas will be leased for around 30 years to private developers. This is an interim proposal before the state government takes a decision on the proposed amendment for the Development Control Regulations,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner of the Improvements committee,Milind Sawant. In this amendment,expected to be approved in around six months,private developers must develop 50 per cent of private plots reserved for municipal schools into civic schools. The other half can be built for private purposes,but must solely be an educational institution. In turn,as an incentive,the developers will be granted the FSI prevailing for the structure,said officials. The proposal will now be tabled in the BMC general body meeting for approval.

“In these proposals,BMC schools and the private institutions will have a separate entrance and will be dissociated from each other apart from being constructed on the same piece of land,” said Congress corporator and member of the Improvements Committee,Mohsin Haider.

According to the civic body’s current policy,in these reserved plots,private developers can build a private school on land leased by the BMC,or acquired from private owners if the education officer issues a no-objection certificate (NOC). The only stipulation here is that the developers must reserve 15 per cent of the admission for municipal school students.

Officials claim that the new proposal would mean better infrastructure and increased facilities for the children. Under the earlier norm municipal school children could not afford the school fees due to which the seats would lie vacant.

“We are bringing this change in the policy to follow the recommendations made by the Right to Education (RTE) act. As per the stipulated classroom and students’ ratio,we need 580 more classrooms. Hence we need the change in policy as civic body does not have enough infrastructure to build schools,” said Sawant at a previous meeting when the decision was stayed.

Haider also demanded that the decision on the NOC must be the discretion of the education committee and not the education officer alone. “This will allow for more transparency as there are more members allowed in the decision-making,” said Haider. In July,the civic body’s standing committee passed a proposal to allow BMC schools to be managed by private NGOs on a Public-Private-Partnership .

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