The civic body will further end up reducing the green cover in the city with its plans to develop Aarey Colony as a growth hub.
If the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) DP is to be believed, 1,009 hectares of Aarey land is set be developed into a theme park and various small recreational parks. It will also house an international zoo, educational institutes, housing projects, along with public amenities, and transport facilities such as a bus rapid transit system (BRTS).
In the previous DP, Aarey Colony was designated as a ‘no development zone’. However, the draft plan claims that the reservation has not been a deterrent to unplanned development activities in the area.
In contrast to the 1991 DP, the BMC proposes to develop Aarey Colony along the lines of New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park.
With around 377 hectares of land already committed to various projects at Aarey, the plan of using another 1,009 hectares raises the question whether the city will lose another green cover under the pretext of providing public infrastructure?
The master plan for Aarey includes opening up land for construction of large scale specialised educational, research and medical institutes. “There is paucity of land for accommodating institutes in the city. Renowned national institutes such as IIM, NICMAR etc chose to locate in other metropolitan cities. Aarey can give an opportunity to serve as an institutional node,” the DP said.
In addition to the Goregaon- Mulund Link Road and Metro 3 yard, the DP also plans to introduce BRTS and create a high-speed east-west link.
What may rile up environmentalist is the proposal to have housing for project-affected people, along with the development of retail services and public amenities. “The proposed plan is clearly guided by the builder’s lobby. Under the garb of providing public amenities, large parcel of land is encroached upon,” said Rishi Aggarwal, environmentalist.