The civic body appears to have left out more than 65% of Mumbaiites and 19 sq km of the city from development plans for the next 20 years.
The existing land use (ELU) survey, which was recently completed and will form the basis for Mumbai’s new development plan (DP), has not mapped densely populated slums such as Dharavi and special planning areas (SPAs) such as Oshiwara, Backbay, Bandra-Kurla Complex and SEEPZ, which are under the jurisdiction of other government bodies.
By excluding these areas, the ELU will not have mapped approximately 19 sq km of Mumbai and left out more than 65% of the people who live in these areas. In reality, far more Mumbaiites — all those who work in these areas and live close to them — will also be affected by the lack of planned development.
These unmapped, and thus neglected, areas will continue to put pressure on the city’s infrastructure as they won’t be integrated into the rest of the city. Wadala, for instance, is being planned as the next commercial hub by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Develop-ment Authority (MMRDA), and will not figure in the city’s development plan.
In the ELU prepared by the civic body-appointed consultant, Groupe SCE India Ltd, the slums and SPAs have only been demarcated for the area they occupy; no detailed mapping has been done.
“It is important to include slums in the city’s planning. They are not one homogenous lot and should be categorised. If this doesn’t happen, you are not only depriving people, but also ensuring there is no real infrastructural growth as these unplanned areas will keep burdening the system,” said Pankaj Joshi, urban planner and executive director of the city-based Urban Design Research Institute, which analysed the ELU and brought to light the discrepancies in land classification.
Since September 12, HT has been publishing a series of reports on land classification discrepancies in the ELU survey when compared to the 1991 DP, which is currently in force, and satellite imagery.