With only a month remaining for citizens to submit their suggestions and objections to the proposed development plan (DP) for Mumbai, the movement to create awareness about it is gathering momentum.
More than 500 residents of Bandra and Andheri (West) met on Sunday, to discuss and understand the plan in two separate workshops organised by several non-profit organisations.
NGOs such as the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), NAGAR and AGNI have been conducting the workshops in different localities across the city, to create awareness about what the DP holds in store for those areas. They are also guiding citizens on how to file their objections. In Bandra (West), citizens objected to proposed road-widening projects which will affect churches and heritage structures. In Andheri (West), residents objected to the variable FSI policy and the plan to allow construction on non-development zones.
“Many of us were clueless about how to submit our objections. All attendees at the meeting have agreed to write to the BMC,” said Dereyk Talker of Wake up Bandra. Architect and local resident PK Das said, “Development of a plot near Oshiwara will be opposed. If necessary, citizens will start a war against the project. The distribution of FSI is completely irregular, and we need not allow such development.”
Ameet Satam, MLA of Andheri (West), said, “We will be meeting civic officials and filing the suggestions and objections of the residents before April 24, and make sure they are taken in to consideration. The proposed DP needs to be pro-citizen.” Former municipal commissioner DM Sukhtankar, who was present at the workshop in Bandra (West), said, “Citizens must come forward and submit their suggestions. It is an important plan that will determine the development of the city.”
Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte has also promised that consultation workshops will be held by the civic body at all wards before April 24, to impart clarity about the plan and accept objections.
Pankaj Joshi, director of UDRI, said, “This is a chance to voice your opinion, which has come once in 20 years. Even if it is a small brief about any matter, citizens must send it across before the deadline. Even if a party goes to court objecting the development plan later, it is most likely to be dismissed, since the BMC had given people a chance to object to it.”
Shyama Kukarni, trustee, AGNI said, “Principals of two schools were worried about a proposed road passing through the school. Five parish priests also objected to a similar plan. Citizens are waking up to the need for changes in the plan.”