In a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a citizen’s group has pointed out more major errors in the revised draft development plan 2034. The Bandra fort garden, for example, which was earlier wrongly designated as a parking lot, has now been tagged with the vague term “to be included in the surrounding zone” according to NAGAR, a citizen’s group fighting to save the city’s green spaces. Earlier, experts had also pointed out that the Bandra Fort had been designated as a playground and not a historical monument. HT, through a series of articles, has been reporting several glaring errors in the plan over the past two weeks.
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According to NAGAR’s analysis, about 12 gardens that were earlier marked as playgrounds are now designated as recreation grounds. This, in other words, would open them up for private use and construction. The 12 gardens include major ones such as Azad Maidan and the one at Horniman Circle. “Similarly in C (Kalbadevi), E (Byculla), F/N (Matunga) and H/W (Bandra) wards, the designations of many sites marked as playgrounds (PG) have been changed to recreation grounds (RG),” the letter adds. The letter also states that almost all traffic islands have been appropriated the “to be included in the zone” tag instead of their earlier designations as playgrounds.
In its letter, NAGAR wrote that it was able to send its objections for only a few wards because of a shortage of time. Of the city’s 24 wards, NAGAR has analysed and sent objections for five. Though the deadline for sending suggestions and objections to the BMC passed on Monday, the civic body has stated that it will still consider “concrete observations”. The revised draft has been put up on the BMC’s website for public scrutiny.
Nayana Kathpalia, a trustee with NAGAR, said, “We are still in the process of analysing all the wards. We could send our objections only for a few because of the limited time. However, we will still come out with a document on our observations.”