“The existing private owners of the plots have all issued a purchase notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The BMC will soon acquire these plots to develop them as public open spaces,” said Ram Barot, civic improvements committee chairman.
Purchase notices for these plots were given by owners in May last year. The civic body has to initiate acquisition of these plots within a year or they will be de-reserved.
However, corporators claimed that in spite of acquiring several plots, the civic body’s record on their development as public open spaces is grim. “In the past few months, we have cleared several proposals to purchase open space plots. The administration, however, is yet to present the report on the development of these plots. The report will reveal if citizens have actually benefited or not,” said Barot.
Some members said the process of acquisition and development of open spaces gets mired in procedural delays.
“The BMC has had to pay a heavy price for its failure to acquire open space plots reserved in the DP for the past 20 years. Encroachments have sprung up and the BMC has to now spend on rehabilitation,” said Ashraf Azmi, improvements committee member and a corporator from Kurla.