DP for 16% open spa­ces, ex­perts call it in­flated

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Chetna Yerunkar and Lax­man Singh ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: In a con­tentious pro­vi­sion, the city’s re­vised draft de­vel­op­ment plan (DP) 2034 has pro­posed 16% of the to­tal land area avail­able to be marked as open spa­ces. The city, ac­cord­ing to the draft DP, is spread over 476.24 sq km (47,624 hectares), of which 78.34 sq km (7,834 hectares) has been pro­posed to be main­tained as pub­lic open spa­ces. Ac­tivists, how­ever, said the fig­ure 16% is in­flated and the ac­tual open spa­ces avail­able to cit­i­zens are just around 7%.

The Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) has re­cently re­served around 1,892.22 hectares of open spa­ces, which are pro­posed to be added to the ex­ist­ing 1,633.67 hectares. These are sup­posed to be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to cit­i­zens in the form of recre­ation grounds, play­grounds, parks and gar­dens.

How­ever, it will be dif­fi­cult for the civic body to ac­quire the pro­posed land for the pur­pose of cre­at­ing open spa­ces as most of it is en­croached.

Also, of the 7,834 hectares of open spa­ces pro­posed for the city, around 4,308.11 hectares will ac­tu­ally be only on pa­per. The rea­son be­ing the draft DP seeks to add space un­der swim­ming pools, clubs and gymkhanas, buf­fers around nul­lahs (open drains), creeks, rivers and even ar­eas around wa­ter pipe­lines as pub­lic open spa­ces — much to the dis­may of ex­perts and ac­tivists.

Fur­ther, parts of Aarey Milk Colony and San­jay Gandhi Na­tional Park (SGNP) as well as lay­out recre­ation grounds in pri­vate prop­er­ties (hous­ing or com­mer­cial com­plexes), too, have been con­sid­ered as pub­lic open spa­ces. BMC has also pro­posed to count large spa­ces such as Bhabha Atomic Re­search Cen­tre (BARC), the In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (IIT) cam­pus at Powai and the Tata In­sti­tute of So­cial Sciences (TISS) cam­puses as green spa­ces, in an ef­fort to in­flate the open spa­ces num­bers. >> CON­TIN­UED ON P9 >> RE­LATED RE­PORTS, P5

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