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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

1,146 errors found in land use maps

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 10, 2013
First Published: 01:28 IST(10/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:29 IST(10/2/2013)

With the deadline for scrutinising the civic body’s existing land use (ELU) maps just two days away, citizens’ groups and organisations have found 1,146 mistakes in the maps till date.

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Two pan-city organisations, Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) and YUVA, a not-for-profit body, have compiled these errors in the maps, which were opened to public scrutiny by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The BMC had opened up the maps for scrutiny on December 11. The two-month period for scrutiny expires on Monday.

The reason why it is crucial for these errors to be rectified is because these maps will form the basis of the city’s next development plan, a blueprint that will remain in place for 20 years, starting 2014.

The BMC will analyse these maps and then plan for your locality on the basis of the existing usage of land in your area.

In the latest round of studies, citizens’ groups from across the city have submitted a fresh list of 128 errors found in 16 of the 24 wards.

Even officials from Prithvi theatre, which had been erroneously marked as a residential plot, have responded and submitted two errors they found in the ELU maps, marking both the theatre and its parking lot wrongly.

YUVA conducted a study in the S ward and found 61 errors in the ELU maps of Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg and Bhandup.

Alarmingly, both YUVA and UDRI’s latest compilations have found various discrepancies in the markings of mangroves and wetlands across the city.

Dhanraj Khare from YUVA, who worked on the survey, said, “The markings of wetlands and urban villages has been incorrect at many places. Farm and grazing land has also not been shown, which puts these places under threat.”

Pankaj Joshi, executive director of UDRI, who conducted a scrutiny in the K West ward, also found numerous instances where mangroves have been mapped as vacant land.

“These are large swathes of lands which should have been marked correctly considering their importance to the ecology. But, these are all marked as vacant land, opening them up to abuse and exploitation.”

Groups and political parties have demanded an extension in the period for scrutiny, but the civic body hasn’t given in yet.


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