A day after the Hindustan Times reported that the civic body has acquired only 217 of the 1,586 plots earmarked for open spaces, the state government stepped in to ensure that the city doesn't lose the land.
The government on Tuesday said it would ask the BMC to ensure that the plot reservations were retained in the new Development Plan for Mumbai. Principal Secretary (Urban Development) TC Benjamin said the Urban Development Department would write to the BMC asking it to ensure the open spaces were saved. "We will also instruct the BMC to reserve more plots for open spaces," Benjamin said. "Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said the government wants Mumbai to have sufficient open space. If we go by the Town Planning Act, we are already 80% in deficit."
Unless the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) acquires the plots within three years, after which a new Development Plan (DP) will be in place, the reservations could be nullified. The DP is a blueprint of urban development. The Hindustan Times has been running a campaign to ensure the city does not lose its open spaces to private developers and swank clubs.
Benjamin said the state would also recommend that part of Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZs) and No-Development Zones (NDZs) be used for open spaces. "Since no construction is allowed in CRZ areas, we could reserve some of them as open spaces. Also, NDZs could have green spaces. None of this would involve any construction," he added.