While the civic planning committee has accepted 2,245 suggestions/objections by citizens to the city’s development plan, it has not considered more than double the number or 4,545 suggestions. The suggestions and objections relate to errors over roads, corrections on boundaries, marking of religious structures and changes in reservations among others.
The recommendations were submitted to the corporation by a six-member panel earlier this month. The panel conducted a hearing for citizens for two months after the plan was released. Now, the plan has to be passed by the corporation, comprising 227 corporators ,who have also demanded two months to study the plan.
A ward-wise analysis reveals that the panel did not consider most number of objections from the K-West ward or Andheri West where 662 citizen objections were rejected. This was followed by K-East or Andheri East where 402 objections have not been considered. Most number of objections —175 — have been accepted from the S ward which comprises Bhandup, Vikhroli and parts of Kanjurmarg.
Senior civic officials from the DP department of BMC said most objections not considered by the panel are for change or deleting reservations. The official said, "Being a land-starved city, a change in reservations is difficult because there is no other space available to develop these institutions." In its report, the panel has also said that reservations have been deleted only in case of particular orders from the Maharashtra government, a court order or any competent authority.
The official also said that objections raised on spaces encroached by slums have also not been considered in large numbers. Reservations relate to housing and social amenities for the city. The DP has retained most of the reservations made in DP 1991, of which hardly 33% was implemented in 20 years.
However, the planning committee has accepted long-pending demands of earmarking religious and heritage structures. It has also changed the marking for traffic islands marked as playgrounds, as pointed out by HT earlier. The list of accepted suggestions also include the much-contested widening of the Hazarimal Somani Marg in Fort.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) said, "The committee has salvaged the report by accepting many recommendations from the citizen groups at larger policy levels."
Citizens can still approach their newly-elected corporators who can suggest changes to be incorporated in the plan. "There cannot be any additional suggestions, but the corporation has the authority to accept or reject the planning committee's recommendations," the official added.