The BMC’s Improvements Committee has cleared a proposal to take over 2,345 sq m of a public playground to construct alternative accommodation for some residents of D N Nagar area who will be rehabilitated as part of a Metro project.
According to the proposal, space will be carved out of a 7,623 sq m plot playground which is in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s possession. Two four-storey buildings will be constructed for some residents of Juhu Gulmohar Society in D N Nagar area of Andheri.
The original building will be demolished to make way for pillars of the proposed Metro 2B (Dr D N Nagar to Mankhurd-Mandale) elevated corridor.
Opposition corporators had opposed the move, alleging it could set a precedent to use open spaces for rehabilitation. They further alleged that the civic body was being discriminatory in the rehabilitation of PAP (Project Affected Persons).
Congress corporator Ashraf Azami said, “The proposal should have been rejected. For rehabilitating the people of
Andheri, the civic administration is ready to destroy open spaces. But when rehabilitation of slums takes place, BMC and other authorities throw them to areas like Mahul. This is discrimination.”
Another Congress corporator, Javed Juneza, said, “South Mumbai’s residents had to be shifted and were promised that houses will be given to them. They never got space in their neighbourhood. But the plush society members of JVPD are given an alternative in a neighbouring area. Also, tomorrow, another open space can be taken over in the name of development.”
The BJP and Sena supported the proposal that was cleared by Improvements Committee chairman Sadanand Parab. “The Metro is an important project and to finish it on time, we have to fulfill their (residents’) requirements. This will boost the city’s infrastructure. The proposal is nothing but a change in the reservation of two lands. We are not going to lose the open space,” said BJP corporator Abhijit Samant.