MORE BLUN­DERS POP UP IN DRAFT DP; AT RISK ARE CITY’S AMENI­TIES

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The num­ber of blun­ders in Mum­bai’s 20-year de­vel­op­ment blueprint con­tin­ues to rise, putting many of its es­sen­tial, and scarce, ameni­ties at risk.

A new study of the civic body’s des­ig­na­tion sur­vey — an ex­er­cise to mark ex­ist­ing ameni­ties in the de­vel­op­ment plan (DP) — shows more than 600 pri­vate and pub­lic ameni­ties have not been marked cor­rectly. This isn’t all. Close to 700 pri­vate ameni­ties have not been marked at all and 330 pub­lic open spa­ces are en­dan­gered by the sur­vey, as it marks them as ‘recre­ational grounds’, a cat­e­gory of open spa­ces where con­struc­tion is cur­rently per­mit­ted.

This data is from a study sub­mit­ted to BMC by Ur­ban De­sign Re­search In­sti­tute (UDRI), an NGO work­ing on ur­ban plan­ning.

Fol­low­ing a re­port by HT, the civic body had said it will amend rules to en­sure no con­struc­tion is done on open spa­ces, but the other omis­sions that the study has high­lighted will prove detri­men­tal to the city, ex­pos­ing its scarce ameni­ties to new risks, ur­ban plan­ners said.

First, if a plot of land is marked in­cor­rectly, its use will not be con­sid­ered for the next 20 years, al­low­ing land sharks to use it for com­mer­cial pur­poses. Sec­ond, leav­ing the ameni­ties out will present a skewed pic­ture of what the city has. Ur­ban plan­ners pointed out the flaws will also lead to plots be­ing taken over for com­mer­cially-at­trac­tive uses, lead­ing to hap­haz­ard de­vel­op­ment.

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