More stringent of two DCRs will apply to stalled projects
When they go for further permissions to complete their buildings, they are asked to come under the new rules. It is not possible to follow the stipulations of the new 2034 DCR, especially when you have just one or two floors of the building to complete,” said a source in the real estate industry. A developer said it would be difficult to comply with the new DCR conditions at a stage when his building is almost complete.
Another prominent developer said the building proposals department was not even accepting premium payments for construction concessions. “I have to pay Rs 50 crore as premium for my project, but it’s all in limbo,” the developer told TOI.
Sources said the state should have come up with a transition policy for projects that started under the old 1991 DCR. “Since two weeks, there’s a total shutdown in the BMC’s building proposals department. Junior level officials do not know what to do,” said a prominent architect.
BMC chief engineer (development plan) Sanjay Darade said he has held meetings with his engineers and given instructions on how to scrutinise proposals. “There is no issue,” he said. Darade said the more stringent of the two DCRs will apply to building proposals in transition. Early this week, the BMC issued a circular that all proposals will now be processed as per the new DCR through the online system.
The BMC initiated the development plan of 2034 and published the draft DP on February 25, 2015. However, since there were a lot of anomalies, it was scrapped. The second draft DP along with DC regulations was published in May 2016 and suggestions and objections were called. The final plan was published on May 8, with some of the clauses added in Excluded Portion (EP), which was not sanctioned and further suggestions and objections were called for. “Since September 1, there are many Excluded Portions within the new plan. There is chaos in the entire building proposal department,” said a developer.
The roads are clogged with Ganeshotsav celebrations and the traffic chaotic. Moving at a snail’s pace, when you finally reach the hotel in Cuffe Parade, almost 45 minutes late, the OBE-awarded Indian multi-instrumentalist Baluji Shrivastav shows no signs of annoyance. Instead he smiles as he clutches your hand warmly and leads you to a chair next to him. OBE, for the uninitiated, stands for the muchcoveted UK honour, Order of the British Empire.
Stylishly attired in a leopard-print shirt and beige trousers and sipping on mojito seated across his singer-songwriter wife Linda Shanson, Shrivastav speaks in an enthused voice, never looking away from his listener for even a second.
The 68-year-old, who excels in sitar, surbahar, dilruba, pakhavaj and table, has accompanied Stevie Wonder in Hyde Park and Coldplay at the Paralympics closing ceremony, and recorded with Annie Lennox, Massive Attack and Oasis, was only eight months old when he was diagnosed with glaucoma and has lived without sight ever since.
For Shrivastav, what could be worse than having no sight is having no vision. So, apart from performing before world leaders and with the best of musicians, together with his wife he founded Baluji Music Foundation in 2008 and later the Inner Vision Orchestra–the UK’s only orchestra of blind and visually impaired musicians—inspired by the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita that explores the interplay between light and darkness. The orchestra arose from findings in a survey report titled ‘Blind to the Facts’ that Shrivastav had commissioned in 2015 to look into the needs of blind and partially sighted musicians in the UK for the Arts Council of England. It identified the need for more performance opportunities for musicians in particular who found it more difficult than sighted musicians to do the essential networking required to find work. “It’s very difficult to find blind musicians because they’re hidden, often not knowing that people want to find them and because of the UK’s data protection policy,” says Linda. “So, we’d talk to blind people on the streets, at meetings and events, and push them gently.”
Today, this project, which earned Shrivastav the OBE in 2016, works actively in addressing the imbalance in much of the British music industry and tries to instill in differently-abled musicians the confidence to pursue music independently. On Monday, Shrivastav and his privilege.” His flair for music, he claims, came along since he was two, “singing along with AIR, at weddings, and making music with cups and bowls”.
At six, he was placed in the Gwalior Blind School and soon became an asset for the institution when he picked up the sitar, outperformed older kids and started conducting the orchestra at nine, having devised a non-visual way to communicate with his fellow musicians using a xylophone. “Every time I hit a specific note it conveyed a specific instruction—louder, softer, faster, slower,” he explained. Shrivastav worked as a musical demonstrator in shops when a chance encounter with a French tourist and his curiosity about the sitar took Shrivastav to Belvedere in 1981, and then to Paris, where he met his artiste wife, and later to London where he settled down.
With 200 musicians enrolled with the foundation now, out-of-town concert calls see an army of 10-20 musicians from different countries, three guide dogs and a bundle of instruments travelling out of London loaded with sounds that straddle Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria, to gospel, blues, ragas and Western classical. And it’s not just about the joy of playing; Shrivastav also finds ways to impart life hacks to those with low vision. “I recently discovered a way to take selfies and make recordings of our own music,” he gushes.
Baluji Shrivastav (holding sitar) with fellow musicians in Mumbai