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Slums ignored in BMC’s new development plan

Over 60 per cent of the city’s population lives in these areas.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai | November 25, 2013 5:39:24 am

While over 60 per cent of the city’s population lives in slums,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s draft Development Plan (DP) for the next 20 years seems to have left out these areas in its planning process.

Areas and slums falling under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Special Planning Authorities (SPA) such as the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC),have been left out of the planning process. Some of the areas which come under SPAs include Dharavi,one of the biggest slum clusters in the city,along with business districts like Oshiwara,Backbay and SEEPZ.

“The notified areas under the special planning areas and MMRDA and other agencies are not under the purview of DP 2014-34. These account for an area of 4,322.79 hectare as per the existing land use. Population and areas under SPAs have been computed and discounted for purpose of analysis and further projection,” the report says.

A draft report of the DP (2014-34) has revealed that 63 per cent of Mumbai’s housing stock comprises slums,chawls and pavement dwellings and more than 60 per cent Mumbaikars live in houses which are less than 650 sq ft. In its preparatory studies for the DP,the BMC had showed that a majority of its housing options lie in slums (45 per cent),chawls (15 per cent) and on pavements (three per cent).

The report further says only 28 per cent of the housing stock falls under apartments,while nine per cent is public housing,including slum rehabilitation schemes.

The 280-page “preparatory studies” report,jointly drafted by BMC and Group SCE India Ltd,a 100 per cent subsidiary of the French consulting firm EGIS Geoplan,was submitted to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan recently. The preparatory studies compares the existing DP (1991-2013) with the actual implementation and suggests future projections.

Raising concerns over the exclusion of slums and its population in the future development plan,Pankaj Joshi,executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute,said: “While slums and the population continue to exert pressure on the city’s infrastructure,the BMC has failed to analyse the slums pockets in the DP. There is no strategy which has been recommended to incorporate holistic development of slums and special planning areas in the DP.”

He said while the BMC has agreed that a major chunk of the population is involved in informal livelihoods in the analysis,no strategy has been envisaged for the informal employment sector.

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