Residents of Dadar, Chembur, Govandi and Kurla may not benefit from the civic body’s draft development plan (DP) 2034. A ward-wise analysis of the gap in land for amenities shows that wards L (Kurla), M-east (Deonar, Chembur and Govandi) and G-north (Dadar, Mahim and Dharavi) will face the highest deficit in the next 20 years.
Making matters worse, the DP has assessed that a gap of 254 hectares will remain in the provision of public amenities in L and M-east wards because of scarcity of vacant land to make reservations for them.
What this means is that areas of Kurla, Deonar, Chembur, Govandi and Mankhurd may continue to face poor living conditions even if the DP is fully implemented by 2034.
This also shows how the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) proposed policies of using the FSI and land pooling to meet the demand gap lack effectiveness.
Apart from this, L and M-east are also among the wards projected to have the highest population in the city in the next two decades.
L ward comprising Kurla, for instance, will face a shortfall of 123 hectares of unbuilt amenities – open spaces and crematoriums – for its projected population of 11.32 lakh.
M-east ward falls second in the ratio of demand for amenities in comparison to their availability. The deficit of educational, health, social and recreational amenities is estimated at 77 hectares for the projected population of 10.69 lakh.
With both these wards having large slum populations, there is a possibility of the deficit being higher as the BMC has not mapped slums in its existing land use survey.
“The BMC can’t arrive at an accurate estimate of the gap in amenities if the land use in slums remains unmapped. The DP has clearly not done justice to the M-east ward, in particular, as it is also occupied by polluting units of the BMC such as the Deonar dumping ground,” said Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party group leader in the BMC and a corporator from Govandi.
The eastern suburbs has the largest demand gap for built amenities (schools, hospitals, public toilets, fire stations etc) accounting to 687.14 hectares, followed by the western suburbs (141.25 hectares) and the island city (39.43 hectares.
Questions are being raised on the BMC’s proposal of creation of a land pool and the FSI tool to meet the demand for amenities. The land pool policy is largely dependent on developers, who will have to hand over certain percentage of the land for public amenities.