Calling for more transparency in policy making and its implementation, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said Mumbai’s development was possible only when the returns from various projects were diverted properly to the state government.
“The profits made in Mumbai go to the private parties. We have to think of solutions that will make the state earn more so that it can spend more to resolve issues of growing urbanisation,” Chavan said on Monday.
Chavan’s tough talk on the floor space index (FSI) and transfer of development rights (TDR) showed his interest in reforming the land governance. The Opposition raked up several FSI and TDR-related controversies during the six-hour debate on the governor’s speech.
“FSI and TDR are the only solutions to resolve the city’s problems. We have to go beyond and ensure that Mumbai’s value gets handsome returns for the government too,” the CM said.
According to Chavan, Maharashtra may be declared an urban state after the new census. “More than 50% people stay in the cities. But, this also causes problems like affordable housing, traffic snarls, waste management and environmental issues.”
The CM announced that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) would take up redevelopment projects as well. The announcement is significant as Chavan is of the view that Mhada should redevelop Dharavi slums.
Referring to the scams that have come to light in the past few months, Chavan called for more transparency in policy making. “In times of media watch and the Right to Information Act, the government has to ensure that decision making does not suffer. No decision, even at international levels, can be kept under wraps when agencies like WikiLeaks continue to expose them.”
Chavan reiterated the state’s resolve to complete the city’s transport projects within the set deadlines. “Metro and monorails will not be delayed. Work on the metro in Navi Mumbai will start by May this year.”
The CM took cognisance of MLA Baba Siddique’s request for staying demolition of holy structures in the city. “But we will have to prepare a comprehensive policy that follows the Supreme Court directives.”