The city, already starved for open spaces, may lose ten more plots reserved as recreational grounds and play grounds.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed to de-reserve these plots to construct car sheds, for the Charkop –Bandra- Mankhurd metro line.
The MMRDA-the nodal authority for the construction of the Mumbai metro– needs to construct two car sheds; one at Charkop measuring 19.6 hectares and the other at Mankhurd, measuring 24 hectares. For this, it needs to de-reserve the current land use reservations on these plots.
The proposals to change the reservations on these two plots were tabled in the civic improvements committee in March, and are still under consideration.
The MMRDA wants to start construction on the second line by October and has requested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clear the two proposals at the earliest. Towards this purpose, on Wednesday, R Ramanna, the additional chief (transport and communication cell), MMRDA made a presentation to the civic improvements committee chairman Bhalchandra Shirsat.
The area in Charkhop has more than 15 reservations, including 10 open spaces, a police station, post office and temple. It also has mangroves and over 1,200 families from slums are occupying a part of the land there. Most of the land falls under Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ-1)
The 10 open spaces amount to more than 83,000 sqm of area. The plot in Mankhurd, on the other hand, is entirely marked as a No-Development Zone.
“We want the project to happen for the development of the city, but they will have to tell us what will happen to those families living there,” said Shirsat.
He also said that the civic body wants more details on the commercial activities proposed on the plot. However, the loss of open spaces and public amenities has not cropped up as a hurdle to clearing the proposal. “In a city where open spaces are dwindling, the corporators want to de-reserve more of them. They can surely find another area for the construction of car sheds,” said Nayana Kathpalia, of Citispace, an city-based NGO fighting for open spaces.
The city fares poorly with regard to open spaces. International standards for open spaces are four acres of land per thousand people. As a stark contrast, in Mumbai the availability is merely 0.03 acres per thousand people.