Following strong criticism on a number of provisions in the proposed development plan of Mumbai till 2034, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the government was taking a relook at the blueprint.
Fadnavis announced that a three-member committee headed by state chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya has been appointed to review the proposed development plan.
“If errors are found in the draft, the government will not hesitate to scrap it,” he said in the state Assembly. The committee will be asked to submit its interim report before Friday, the day the budget session is likely to end.
The proposed DP released by the civic body for public review has invited criticisms from urban planners, citizens’ groups and environmentalists over a steep hike proposed in vertical construction, proposal for construction in no-development zones such as land occupied by mangroves, salt pan and Aarey Milk Colony and allowing redevelopment of heritage structures or precincts.
All parties, except the BJP, have opposed the draft DP and want the government to reconsider it. The DP is supervised by state urban development department headed by Fadnavis himself.
Replying to the debate, Fadnavis said the government has received numerous complaints on the irregularities and anomalies in the draft DP. He said the BMC has received more than 4,000 suggestions and objections so far.
“The committee will review the draft and the complaints we have received and see if we can extend the date for giving suggestions and objections as demanded by many. After the comprehensive review of the draft, if we found anomalies, we will re-visit the draft and restart the entire process,” he said.
Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from various parties had raised objections on the draft, claiming irregularities and anomalies. Some demanded an extension of the 60-day period, which ends on April 24, for submitting suggestion and objections.
“Some members claimed that the existing land use mentioned in the draft had errors. If there are errors, then the question arises whether surveys were conducted. The committee will look into the complaints and suggestions. It will then examine if the process was followed and the existing land use properly surveyed. The committee will also consider extending the period to give suggestions and objections. If the committee finds gross violations of norms for the draft DP, we will re-start the process,” he said.
The other two members of the review committee are urban development secretary Nitin Kareer and director of town planning Kamlakar Akode.
Fadnavis clarified that the government would have a final say on the DP after it is submitted by the BMC. He said the government would not supersede the BMC’s right of preparing the plan.
He said the people of Mumbai and the elected representatives have the right to finalise the DP. “There is no consistent policy for FSI and in many cases the allotment was sectoral and haphazard,” he added.