iconimg Monday, May 25, 2015

Kunal Purohit , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 19, 2013
Giving into public pressure, Brihanmumbai Mumnicipal Corporation has agreed to demarcate the city’s koliwadas, or fishing villages, from its slums. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now agreed to mark all gaothans and koli wad as distinctly in its revised existing land use ( ELU ) maps, which classify land use across the city and will form the basis for Mumbai’s new development plan (DP).

Mistakes in t he ELU will reflect in the city’s 20-year development blueprint.

In its August 18 edition, HT had reported that the BMC has come out with a report that admits there are mistakes in its ELU maps.

The BMC has, however, refused to map the internal areas of these gaothans and koliwadas, thus only partially including some of Mumbai’s oldest inhabitants in the planning process.

The boundaries of gaothans and koliwadas will be fixed by a state-appointed committee, it has said.

The BMC has also refused to map slums and areas that fall under special planning authorities, which leaves out nearly 70% of the population.

The BMC ’s blunder had prompted Kolis, who live in these gaothans and fishing villages, to threaten authorities that they would take to the streets if their rights and needs were not recognised.

According t o YUVA, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has studied these maps, there were at least 70 mistakes in the ELU maps relating to at least 10 koliwadas.

Though koliwadas will now be differentiated from slums, YUVA said the BMC’s efforts were still not satisfactory.

“It’s half the battle won. The BMC needs to not just demarcate but also map the i nteriors of these villages for the DP to benefit this population,” said Aravind Unni, YUVA planner.

Leena Joshi, project director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ M-ward project, said: “By not mapping the interiors of these areas, the resources and the lack of amenities in these areas are also being ignored.”

“This means t hat even basic amenities such as sanitation or education will not be planned for these areas in the new DP,” she added.