MUMBAI: There are no slums in the city now, at least on paper.
In a major goof-up in the revised draft development plan (DP) 2034, the civic body has failed to recognise and mark the city’s slums dwellers. This is not it. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has marked various reservations, including open spaces and schools, on the existing slum pockets.
This in effect means the city’s development blueprint for the next 20 years gives no rights to slum dwellers. It also indicates that implementing the proposed reservations such as open spaces may be tough in the next two decades.
The BMC released the revised draft DP 2034 on its official website on Friday and has invited suggestions/objections of the citizens, the deadline for which is July 29.
Experts and activists have raised serious concerns over the absence of slums, claiming the planning authority should not ignore the existence of people and the need to provide them with amenities. The experts said slums should be shown under the special planning authority (SPA), instead of erasing them from the DP.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute, said, “The civic body has marked several reservations on slums in Andheri and Santacruz, which were earlier identified as slum clusters in the existing land use (ELU) survey. How can the civic body, which is the planning authority of the city, miss out on 5.2 million people living in the slums? It is criminal to do so.”
Learning from the mistake in its earlier draft released in February 2015, koliwadas and areas such as Nariman Point that fall under a special planning authority (SPA) like t he Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) now find a mention in DP. The draft DP also includes the Dharavi redevelopment project under the SPA to expedite the project, but conveniently ignores the slums.
The area near Juhu Moragaon has been partly reserved for koli housing, whereas the other part which falls under slums has been reserved for garden. The slums near Versova beach have been reserved as green spaces, said experts.
One of the civic officials on request of anonymity said, “The slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) is the planning authority of slums in the city and is also responsible for mapping the slums.”