Around 35 heritage structures have been marked incorrectly in the draft Development Plan (DP) 2034, a report released by the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) has revealed.
Three of them are grade I heritage structures – the outlines of the iconic Gateway of India and the Parsi Well in Churchgate have not been marked properly in the draft DP, while the Willingdon Ambulance building in south Mumbai has been marked as a welfare centre.
Members of the UDRI said many heritage sites in south Mumbai could suffer damage, as roads flanking them have been proposed for widening. DN Road near CST, Nanabhai Moose Road at Colaba, Jagannath Shankar Sheth Marg at Girgaum, and others, which are dotted with heritage structures, are affected in the draft DP 2034.
Mahindra House, a Grade IIA heritage structure, is marked as a post and telegraph office, while the Institute of Science is marked as an art gallery. Backbay House has been pushed under the playground/garden/park category, while the Mount Mary steps could be affected in a road widening project. The report says even the iconic Veermata Jijabai Udyaan, which houses the civic zoo and the Bhau Daji Lad museum, might be altered because of road widening.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director, UDRI, said, “There are a lot of discrepancies in the proposed DP 2034, from the opening up of non-development zones to heritage sites not being marked. Errors have also been made in marking the boundaries of various other heritage structures. Even the Byculla zoo might be disturbed by proposed road widening. There are several other road widening plans that would affect the historic and architectural significance of the city.”
About three Grade I structures, 10 Grade IIA structures, 12 Grade IIB structures and 10 Grade III structures have been marked erroneously or had their outlines changed in the DP.
Around 111 of the 633 published and notified heritage sites in the city have not been marked in the draft DP, while 35 have been wrongly marked. None of the proposed heritage sites in the 2012 proposals list have been marked in the draft DP.