The municipal corporation on Tuesday had announced its plan to acquire 113 reserved plots in the city to create open spaces, for road-widening projects and setting up primary health care centres.
But it is yet to take possession of even one of the 51 reserved plots, which were in the process of being acquired since January 2005.
This has been disclosed in an internal report of the civic body’s Development Plan department from January 2005 to December 2010.
The report says that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still in the process of acquiring the 51 reserved plots, including 34 open spaces meant for developing parks and playgrounds, but has not taken possession of even one.
Of the total 1.69 lakh sqm area of the 51 reserved plots, 1.26 sqm has been earmarked for open spaces, which include gardens, playgrounds and maidans, while 43,000sqm has been put aside for other purposes like widening of roads, civic market, primary schools and petrol pumps.
Now, the BMC has included these 51 reserved plots on its list of the 113 plots, which it plans to acquire in the year 2011-12. It had also made a budgetary provision of Rs 300 crore for acquiring the 113 plots.
When asked why the 51 plots, especially open spaces, have not yet been acquired since five years, Manoj Kotak, the chairman of the civic improvements committee, blamed the administration saying it did not implement the provisions on time.
He also promised not to repeat such delays in future.
"I will follow up with the administration to acquire these plots as early as possible for the betterment of the city. People should get benefits from open spaces and public amenity plots. The administration should speed up the procedure to take over the plots, which are currently unused,” he added.
However, a senior official from the Development Plan department, who did not want to be identified, said: “The acquisition process of reserved plots is lengthy - at times it takes up to 10 years. Because of this, we could not acquire plots in the last five years. Now, we will try to acquire as many plots in the next year.”
The process of establishing Mumbai's new development plan has started and new reservations would be in place after a year or two. Currently, Mumbai has only 0.03 acres of open space for every 1,000 people. This means each Mumbaiite has just 1.95 sqm of open space. The international standard is at least 11 sqm.