International schools are marked as municipal schools, police stations are tagged as green spaces, and centuries-old forts are shown as gardens. Sounds familiar?
More than six months after the controversial development plan for the city was scrapped because of its many errors, the revised one may prove to be as contentious.
A preliminary study of a freshly-released designation survey has shown hundreds of errors in the marking of existing amenities in the revised DP.
For instance, the landmark Prithvi Theatre has been marked as a ‘cinema theatre’ instead of the ‘drama theatre’ that it is. Similarly, Bandra’s Rizvi College of Arts has been tagged as a ‘municipal primary school’, the Sion Fort and the Kurar police station as ‘playgrounds’.
BMC chief Ajoy Mehta said he will get these errors verified before commenting. “We are fairly confident there will not be too many errors, except maybe some clerical ones. Hence, we have even invited citizens to point out if they find errors,” he said.
Last week, HT had reported about the survey skipping crucial privately-owned public amenities, including SNDT Women’s University in Marine Lines, PD Hinduja Hospital & Research Centre in Mahim, the Bombay Stock Exchange tower and Haj House, among others.
Apart from these, the survey has also made omissions while tagging other public amenities. A common pattern is seen in how many high-profile international schools have been marked incorrectly. The Panbai International School in Santacruz is marked as a municipal dispensary, so has the Orchid International School. Kandivli’s Oxford International School and Gundecha School are shown as municipal primary schools.
In many cases, the designation the BMC recommends in its report does not match the observations made by its own staff who visited the spot.
In the F North ward, for instance, a plot of land designated as a playground in the scrapped DP was found lying vacant by the team that visited it. The survey, however, proposes to tag this plot as a municipal school. A vacant plot in Kandivli is shown to be used as a ‘fire brigade station’.
The errors may mean the survey has missed out many public amenities, owned privately and by the government. This may hamper the planning process, as accurate data may not be captured.
A city-based urban planner said the errors showed the fault lies more in the process. “There is something fundamentally wrong in the process. Despite the earlier DP being scrapped because of so many errors at every step, there are fresh mistakes being made. The BMC has clearly not been able to find out the actual reason for these errors,” the planner said, not wishing to be named.