You could get more time to suggest changes to the draft development plan, as minister of state for urban development, Dr Ranjit Patil, said the Maharashtra government is open to extending the April 24 deadline, if the citizens demand.
“We will definitely respond to it [an extension] positively. But, we are yet to get an official request from the municipal commissioner,” Patil told Hindustan Times.
Hindustan Times has been consistently highlighting flaws in the development plan (DP), including reduced open spaces standards, the marking of salt pans and mangroves for residential use and the failure to mark nearly 1,000 heritage structures. The plan has drawn the ire of numerous urban planners and experts.
The Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 gives citizens 60 days, from the time the DP is published, to suggest their changes. This deadline can be extended only by the state’s urban development department, headed by the CM, with Patil as his deputy.
Patil’s comment comes as a relief for citizens worried about the impact of the proposals in the plan – mainly high floor space index (FSI). Many groups have said they don’t have enough time to give their feedback.
It is common for citizens to ask for time extensions while scrutinising the DP, Patil said.
“In fact, we gave an extension for Pune’s development plan only a few days ago. There is no problem in granting such extensions, if the citizens demand,” he said.
Twelve Shiv Sena MLAs had also met CM Devendra Fadnavis last week to ask for a 60-day extension.
“DP maps are available only in English. We have asked the CM to ensure the BMC administration publishes a Marathi version, after which it must give 60 days for citizens to submit opinions,” former Mayor and Dindoshi MLA Sunil Prabhu said.