Citizens’ groups and activists have come out strongly against the civic body for claiming there are no errors in its existing land use (ELU) document.
Four months after HT started pointing out flaws in the way the city’s land use was mapped, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said the ELU maps don’t have mistakes. Rajiv Kuknoor, chief engineer, development plan (DP department, issued this clarification.
The ELU survey has classified land use across the city and will form the basis for the new DP, which is a blueprint for the city’s development for 20 years. Mistakes in the ELU will reflect in the new DP, which will come into effect in 2014.
Claiming that the consultants appointed to conduct the survey had visited every parcel of land, the BMC said the Urban Design Research Institute’s study that spotted 1,200 discrepancies in the ELU was incorrect.
The BMC’s claim comes even as citizens’ groups across the city - more than 50 groups are involved – pick holes in its ELU. Reacting to the outrage among citizens after they found that many amenities were mapped wrongly, BMC chief Sitaram Kunte had ordered a review of the ELU document.
When HT reported about how major educational institutes were marked as plots being used commercially, Kunte said the error was because the colour of the plots changed when officials took a printout of the maps and posted it on the website. Responding to citizens’ concerns, Kunte also made the ELU document available for public scrutiny.
Citizens engaged in the scrutiny of the ELU document said BMC’s defence is ridiculous. “There is no reason for the BMC to be smug and say there are no errors. Citizens are on the job and the deadline for submitting the errors to the BMC is a few days away. Such statements are appalling and an attempt to discourage people,” said activist GR Vora, a Sion resident who has found several discrepancies in the ELU.
UDRI’s executive director Pankaj Joshi said: “Their clarification is incomplete, dissatisfying. We had raised a number of issues that are unresolved. We had hoped they would reconcile the 1,200 discrepancies.”