Around 2,076.96 hectares — this is the shortfall in public amenity land that Mumbai will likely face by 2034.
Although Mumbai will need 4,708.03 hectares of public amenities for the projected population of 13.95 million in 2034, the draft development plan (DP) 2034 does not provide reservations for 44% of this land demand.
Another instance of disparity is the fact that 1,918.07 hectares is the demand for built-up amenities, but the DP has reserved only 385.9 hectares of land.
Around 50% of the built-up amenity demand can be addressed, given the scarce vacant land resource, states the DP.
What this means is that city residents will face a paucity of built-up amenities – educational and health facilities, apart from social ones such as fire stations, public toilets, markets, etc.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) decision to address this deficit of land reservation by adopting the land pooling concept is not fool proof, say critics.
“Mumbai is already a high-density city. Making creation of open spaces and other amenities dependent on real estate development shows a highly flawed approach. The DP must enforce amenities irrespective of any other form of development,” said Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party, group leader in the BMC.
The DP has proposed for the creation of a land pool under which developers building on large parcels of land will have to reserve and develop public amenities on a certain portion of the plot. For instance, 10% of land will have to be kept aside for public amenities if more than 2,000 sqm of area is being developed.
In what might also lead to a problematic scenario, the DP has not individually marked social amenities in the new DP, which subjects their development to the discretion of civic officials. Specific reservations have also not been made for public toilets.
“We severely criticise this DP and demand that the parameters themselves be opened for public scrutiny,” said Shaikh.