Ever wondered why the city’s open spaces are shrinking, despite plans to create more such spaces since 1991? Here’s why: the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plans have mostly remained on paper.
The development plan (DP) is a 20-year blueprint of the city’s social and physical infrastructure. According to the revised DP 2034, only 31% of the plans for open spaces made in DP 1991 were implemented. This means less than one-third of the open spaces shown in the DP were created or maintained in the city. Others sectors such as education (36%) and housing (34%) fared better in terms of implementation. However, only 33% of the overall plan was implemented.
In case of the DP released in 1964, only 6.93% of the open spaces planned were created and 18% of the plans made for all sectors were executed.
The revised DP 2014-34 was released recently. Citizens can send their suggestions and objections by July 29.
The DP 2034 states: “Lack of resources for DP or disregard of DP leading to sizeable amenity deficits will only lead to progressive drop in quality of life.”
Marina Joseph, Hamara Shehar Mumbai Abhiyaan, a body involved in studying the plan, said the city would have got better public amenities if the DPs had been implemented. “Creating better housing options would have reduced the number of slums. Social amenities, too, have suffered owing to the lack of implementation of DP,” said Joseph.
One of the primary reasons for poor implementation is not aligning the plan with the municipal budget, which, in turn, resulted in paucity of funds, states DP 2034.
The civic body is looking at five-year priority plans to ensure the city sees systematic development, officials said.
“We will study the deficiency in the wards through these five-year local plans and offer people better public amenities,” a BMC official said.