Even though a large section of the city’s population cannot afford to buy a house and more than 40% continues to live in slums, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has scuttled chances of cheaper homes being constructed in the near-future.
The controversial proposed development plan (DP) has now de-reserved nearly 1,800 acres of land meant for affordable homes that the 1991 development plan (DP) had earmarked. Worse, the BMC’s draft DP has now scrapped critical ‘Public Housing’ reservations, which could have provided the city with cheaper homes. The reservation, introduced in the first DP in 1964, was meant to provide land to create cheap housing stock for citizens.
With its scrapping, there will not be any land earmarked for affordable homes for the next twenty years.
In fact, previous DPs had split the issue into three categories — public housing through which citizens would be provided cheaper homes, housing for dis-housed/high-density housing, which was targeted at the economically weaker sections and municipal housing, meant to provide homes for civic staffers.
The DP has been facing severe flak, with politicians and experts saying it favours builders more than the common man. The latest revelation may provide more ammunition to its critics.
The rationale behind such a move is not clear. BMC chief Sitaram Kunte refused to respond to a text message sent by HT.