In a significant move, prominent Mumbai residents have written an open letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, pointing out serious flaws in the draft development plan (DP) 2034 and demanded the plan be reformulated in the interest of the city’s future.
“There are obvious errors with regards to names, locations and designations in the draft DP, which we believe will be rectified by your government. Our concern, however, runs deeper, to the fundamental flaws and misconceived concepts inherent in the DP 2034. Its implementation will cause irreparable and permanent damage to the city,” states the letter.
In the letter (read the full letter on Page 2), the eminent Mumbaiites have explained the implications of the draft DP if implemented in its current form.
The letter’s signatories include former Supreme Court judges BN Srikrishna and S Variava; former state chief secretary DM Sukthankar; former Mumbai municipal commissioner Sharad Kale; former Mumbai police commissioners Julio Ribeiro and Satish Sahney; Dr F Udwadia, consulting physician at Breach Candy Hospital; renowned cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr R Panda; Cyrus Guzder, CMD of AFL Limited; and Sheilu Sreenivasan, president, Dignity Foundation; Shirin Bharucha, trustee of OVAL Trust; Pankaj Joshi, executive director of UDRI; Gerson da Cunha, trustee of AGNI; Nayana Kathpalia and Meher Rafaat, trustees of citizen group, NAGAR.
The citizens have taken strong objection to the haphazard FSI hike proposal.
“With an exorbitant increase in FSI norms, neighbourhoods which house thousands of individuals will have to house lakhs. And this without a hint of planning for increase in the carrying capacity of crucial infrastructure like roads, water, drainage, sewerage, electricity, etc. Compounding to the misery is dereserving all encroached upon recreational grounds, playgrounds, parks and gardens,” states the letter.
Sukhtankar told HT the authorities must rectify the numerous factual errors and also seriously consider reviewing the fundamental flaws in the DP. “The open space per person calculation is manipulated, there is no clarity on how housing will remain affordable with higher FSI proposed in the report and no-development zones such as Aarey Colony and salt pans have been opened up for complete development without any thought to environment. The entire report needs to be thoroughly overhauled and not by relying on technology, but also get them corrected on ward level by taking serious note of criticism,” he said.
The signatories have suggested that a committee be formed of not more than three members, who are not working in the state government or BMC, to suggest a pragmatic road map, appropriate reformulation of alternative concepts, approaches, strategies and policies.