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DP push: BMC to team up with citizen groups

mumbai Updated: Sep 09, 2016 10:18 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman

 Ramanath Jha, officer on special duty, who has been looking at the DP revision said that they are holding several meetings with the NGOs to explore options.(HT File Photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is looking at partnering with various citizen groups to run their facility centres, giving a push to public amenities in the city.

 The Development Plan (DP) 2034 has earmarked homeless shelters, women's hostels, old age homes, Aadhar kendras, care centres and student's hostels in the city. The civic body is working on a policy where the centres will be created by it but maintained and run by the NGOs that have field expertise. 

 The civic body has been putting forth the ideas before NGOs such as Right to Pee, which is working on women's sanitation, the Hamara Shehar Mumbai Abhiyaan (HSMA), that has been demanding facility centres and others like Akshara, Pratham and the Stree Mukti Sanagathana. 

 Ramanath Jha, officer on special duty, who has been looking at the DP revision said that they are holding several meetings with the NGOs to explore options. The corporation is also considering if the NGOs can build a pilot of these centres with BMC’s funding, based on their experience and ideas in the coming months. 

 Jha also had a meeting with HSMA on Thursday. 

 "We want to partner with the NGOs to maintain the centres as the BMC does not have expertise in these areas. The maintenance of these centres will also mean additional recruitment for the corporation which is not feasible. There are experts who are already involved in the work and can do a better job," Jha said. 

 DP 2034 was released in May, 2016 for public scrutiny. BMC has accepted several long-pending demands from these NGOs in the blueprint. Now, BMC is looking at various ways to implement the 2034 blueprint because of its failure with the two DPs earlier. While only 33% of DP 1991 was put to force, only 18% of DP 1964 could be implemented by the civic body. 

 The NGOs, meanwhile, are looking at establishing terms and conditions with the BMC.

Sabah Khan from HSMA said, "We are willing to engage with the civic body, provided it is a two-way process of sharing information. We will be working on the conditions and will submit it to BMC in the forthcoming week." HSMA is a broader campaign for infrastructure development in the city that includes most of the NGOs that BMC is looking to partner with.

 Partnering practices 

Apart from connecting with NGOs to facilitate the implementation of the DP, BMC will also look at partnering with land owners in the city. On Tuesday, HT had reported that BMC will undertake the exercise of "Relationship Marketing" to promote its accommodation reservation policy to land owners. BMC has made a lucrative deal for housing socities or land owners whose reserved plots will be developed for public use in return of better construction rights and other incentives. 

 Implementation in numbers 

 In a meeting held last week, BMC fixed its strategy to implement the plan starting the next financial year -- 

BMC has estimated an amount of Rs 14,15,320 crore for the implementation of DP 2034 

The plan will be divided into four five-year plans. Each of them will also have 5 annual plans 

Plans that are not implemented in the current financial year will be carried forward to the next annual plan 

The first annual plan will be for the year 2017-18 

The budget for the DP will not exceed Rs5,000 crore each year 

A budgetary provision will be made in the 2017-18 budget to build amenities on municipal vacant plots. Solid waste management (SWM) will be given the highest priority 

 The status of the DP

According to the MRTP Act, the BMC has to submit the DP to the state government within six months of the publication date 

To hear citizens’ objections on the DP, a planning committee, comprising three standing committee members and four experts appointed by the state government, has to be formed 

The state has already appointed three officials for this review on August 12, while the ruling Shiv Sena is still dithering over it. The party has demanded that all political group leaders be part of the committee 

After observing citizens’ objections/suggestions, the panel has to submit a report within two months of the date of its appointment 

The half-formed panel has already lost more than three weeks 

Citizens had submitted 9,616 suggestions and objections on the 20-year blueprint for the city