The city’s green lung might shrink further if mistakes in the civic body’s existing land use maps, which will form the basis of the future development plan, are not corrected in time. Citizen groups and other bodies scrutinising the maps have so far found 130 errors in classifying the city’s open spaces.
Many open space plots have been marked as ‘vacant land’ or wrongly recorded as being used for some other purpose. There are also instances where partially constructed plots have been shown as open spaces. Experts say both types of mistakes are equally dangerous as they will end up painting a misleading picture of the city’s open space count. Besides, tagging such plots as vacant land would mean they could be opened up for commercial exploitation, they add.
Hindustan Times has been highlighting the issue since September, when it pointed out flaws in these maps, following which the civic chief ordered a review and asked citizens to take part in their scrutiny.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute that had pointed out misuse of open spaces, said the findings are alarming. “Listing open spaces as anything else is criminal because of their immense shortage. These errors will make such plots vulnerable to mischief.”
Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte remained unavailable for comment.