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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

BMC plans to declare gaothans as slums, residents to protest

Manoj R Nair, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 10, 2013
First Published: 01:49 IST(10/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:50 IST(10/1/2013)

After proposing a heritage tag for some of the city's gaothans, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now plans to declare some villages as slums or clusters.

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Irked with the civic body's plan, members of the East Indian community from Marol filed their objections against the development plan for 2014-34 under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act on Wednesday.

The proposed changes to the development plan for 2014-34 were announced last month. Villages from Juhu, Chuim, Shirley Rajan, Old Khar, Versova, Vile Parle, Chembur and Marol are to be included in the category.

Godfrey Pimenta, president, Marol Citizens Forum, which filed their objections, said, "The proposal will only benefit builders who will be able to start slum rehabilitation projects in the gaothans. We were not aware of the proposal. Ideally, we should have got one month to submit our objections and suggestions, but now we have only few more days to send our complaints."

Gordon D'Souza, president, Bombay Catholic Sabha, said, "We are not okay with our villages being labelled as slums. We need more time to file our objections."

A senior BMC official said that the proposal had been put up on the civic body's website in December. "They had one month to file their objections and suggestions," he said.  

Mumbai has nearly 189 gaothans and 32 koliwadas, including precincts such as Khotachiwadi and Matharpakadi in south Mumbai that do not figure in the proposal. 

Earlier, the civic body had planned to protect some gaothans as urban heritage. "We were pleased with the heritage tag. But, now we are shocked," said Pimenta.

Residents of Kurla, Kirol and Kalina met on Wednesday to plan their course of action against the proposal.

Vivian D'Souza, a lawyer from Kurla, said, "Once the gaothan is declared a slum, we will get more FSI, as opposed to the present 1.33, and will have the right to trade the FSI. We need to study the proposal."


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