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New open spaces policy for city

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2011 02:27 IST
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The city will soon have a new open spaces policy, which is aimed at giving citizens access to these spaces and ensuring they have a say with regard to such plots in their localities.

Civic chief Subodh Kumar approved the policy on Thursday.

It will replace the controversial caretaker policy that was put on hold by the state in 2007 after severe opposition by
citizens, who said they don’t get access to the space once it is handed over to a private body.

“The policy has been re-drafted to address the concerns of citizens. Suggestions and objections will be called for,” said Kumar.

Under the new policy, local citizens’ groups will get the first right to maintain open spaces in their areas.

In an answer to grievances that open spaces were given to outfits controlled by political parties that don’t keep these plots open to the public, a bidding process has been created.

This will ensure the plots are allotted to the best bidder who fulfils all criteria.

“If a trust affiliated to any political party wants to adopt a plot, it will have to be backed by the local citizens’ group,” Kumar said.

There will also be a tribunal that includes senior civic officials to keep a check on the misuse of these plots.

The policy also plans for the creation of a green fund so that other open spaces that are not adopted can be maintained.

The civic body had originally introduced the caretaker policy so that private bodies would maintain the city’s open spaces, as it did not have sufficient funds.

The policy will be tabled before the civic improvements committee and then the civic general body.

After that, it will be sent to the state government.

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