CITY’S OPEN SPACES UNDER THREAT
NEW POLICY PASSED
In a setback to the fight by citizens’ groups to save Mumbai’s open spaces from falling into private hands, the Sena and BJP had pushed through a plan to allow adoption of playgrounds and recreation grounds by private entities
This new open spaces policy could curb free public access to the city’s 1,068 such plots, which together come to about 1,200 acres
This fear stems from the fate of the nine big plots handed over to private organisations under the earlier caretaker policy that was stayed in 2007, within a year of coming into effect
The nine plots — five are with politicians from ruling allies in the BMC — still remain in private hands and public access to them is severely restricted
Activists fear the policy could see the return of the caretaker policy, through the back door
CM STEPS IN
As the criticism grows, CM Devendra Fadnavis asked BMC chief Ajoy Mehta to review the policy
Fadnavis told Mehta on Friday to take the citizens’ objections into consideration.
The Hindustan Times has been running a campaign since 2006 to ensure the open spaces should remain accessible for all citizens as they are public properties.