Mumbai: Draft DP’s blunders hit iconic structures

  • Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 12, 2015 00:43 IST

The General Post Office in Fort has been marked as a hospital, Hutatma Chowk’s Flora Fountain is a playground and the Azad Maidan police station is a court – the list of blunders in the draft development plan is unending.

Citizens and activists said errors like these – where heritage structures and open spaces have been incorrectly marked – make the case for scrapping the development plan (DP) stronger.

“Something as simple as marking Flora Fountain has gone wrong. Religious structures are completely missed out,” said Godfrey Pimenta of the Watchdog Foundation.

The post office, a colonial-era structure, has perhaps been marked as a hospital because it shares its boundary with the St George Hospital. The proposed plan has also made a mistake while marking the Mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park. The heritage structure has been marked partly as an auditorium, and partly as a residential commercial (RC) zone – which means the bungalow can be opened up for commercial development.

“It just proves the DP must be scrapped and sent back to the drawing board. Apart from the errors, the DP has ignored mapping special planning authority areas and the vast slums spread across the city,” said Nayana Kathpalia, trustee of NGO NAGAR.

The numerous complaints led chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to acknowledge on Friday that the draft DP was flawed. The CM has now asked a committee to examine the DP.

HT has consistently been highlighting errors and inconsistencies in the civic body’s draft plan. Apart from incorrect markings, the plan has also opened up hundreds of acres of no-development zones such as salt pan land, the Aarey Colony and Madh Island for development. Heritage structures, too, have not made it to the list. Gaothans are marked as slums, the St Andrews church in Kala Ghoda has been marked as a public hall and six-metre walking track in Juhu has been marked as a public road.

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