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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Massive response to ELU scrutiny

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 14, 2012
First Published: 01:00 IST(14/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(14/12/2012)

The movement to demand more accountability in the city’s planning exercise just got stronger. What started as a movement of a handful of organisations demanding the right to have a say, now has more than a hundred representatives from various organisations scrutinising the existing land use (ELU) maps, produced by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

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More than 20 representatives of organisations have requested for maps to facilitate the scrutiny process. Thursday saw more than 500 community-building organisations, representing slums across the city, signing up for scrutiny of the survey findings.

This is even before the BMC has thrown open gates for more public participation in the survey’s scrutiny. HT, on Wednesday, had reported how the BMC had promised to provide ELU maps at every local ward office and also update it on their website, to facilitate public scrutiny.

HT has been consistently reporting on the flaws in the ELU maps, which has wrongly marked the use of many plots in the city. Responding to HT’s reports, the BMC agreed to a public scrutiny of the maps, even when standard procedure did not mandate it.

Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), after coming out with a detailed report of their scrutiny, is now working with citizen groups to help them scrutinise the ELU in their wards. Pankaj Joshi, executive director of UDRI, said: “It’s heartening to see the response from organisations in participative planning.”

YUVA, an NGO, has brought out its own report concentrating on the P-north ward, where they highlighted nearly 50 mistakes in the ELU map, prepared by a consultant appointed by the BMC, Groupe SCE India Pvt Ltd.

Residents of H-west ward federation have allotted parts of the wards to locals, who will scrutinise the maps of their localities.

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