The recently released development plan (DP) ends up holding a mirror to the city and the crippling lack of infrastructure.
Statistics from the plan reveal how some of the sought-after, prime realty areas are suffering from an acute lack of basic infrastructure. This is common with some of the city’s less-developed areas like Mankhurd, Govandi, Kurla, Kalina.
Hence, even while you continue to shell out hefty amounts to live in these areas, your access to basic amenities and the quality of life you enjoy may continue to be very poor.
From the lofty Malabar Hill and Walkeshwar to the colonial-era layout of Shivaji Park, areas of Dadar, even Worli and the tony Juhu and Andheri (West), most of these areas have severe deficits in infrastructure as basic as educational, health and social amenities like markets and cemeteries. Needlessly, most of these areas sorely lack open, green spaces.
Data in the DP showed how all these wards, even by current standards, needed hundreds of hectares to create amenities to meet the standards. Not much may change, even if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s plans from the DP is implemented.
According to the BMC’s projections, even if it manages to acquire all possible plots reserved for amenities in these areas, most of them will continue to be plagued by infrastructural deficiencies.
Critics argue that the civic body’s standards for providing amenities are very poor, much lower than those prescribed by the Centre. To add to it, is the BMC’s poor record of being able to implement only 20% of the DP’s plans, means that much of these may only remain on paper.
For instance, the D ward, which includes the areas of Walkeshwar, Mahalaxmi and Malabar Hill among others, will continue to face a shortage of educational, health and social amenities, even if the civic body’s plans of acquiring all plots earmarked in the area come true. Similarly, the K-West ward, with areas like Andheri-W and Juhu, will continue to see shortage of adequate open spaces, educational facilities and health infrastructure.
This is true even of the P North ward, which houses both prime commercial and residential properties as well as one of the city’s biggest slum clusters in Malvani, which will continue to suffer from educational, health, open spaces deficiencies along with a shortage of markets.
The civic body said it was aware of these shortages.
“Hence, we have not relied only on acquiring reserved plots. We have also planned to use built-up area and combine multiple uses on the same plots, to extract as much as utility from each plot, as we can,” said a civic official from the development plan department.
However, with the civic body’s traditionally poor implementation of the DP, doubts continue to plague this claim.
The recently released Development Plan (DP) throws up statistics which show how, across the city, in tony areas and otherwise, there runs a common thread of poor basic infrastructure. How despite the BMC acquiring all reservations by 2034, the city will continue to experience poor infrastructure:
The city needs
Island city: 758.41 hectares
Western suburbs: 2,425.93 hectares
Eastern suburbs: 1,614.21 hectares
Total: 4,798.54 hectares to meet its amenity standards by 2034
Total land which will be required, after acquiring reservations, to meet the city’s amenity standards: 2,474.95 hectares
Some of the areas where this demand is very high
G North: Areas like Dadar, Prabhadevi, Shivaji Park
Will require 256.59 hectares
K East: Areas like Andheri East, Vile Parle East, Jogeshwari East
Will require: 215.17 hectares
P North ward: Areas like Malad, Kurar, Dindoshi, Manori, Madh
Will require: 339.76 hectares
M East ward: Areas like Govandi, Chembur, Mankhurd
Will require: 306.73 hectares
Some of the areas in the city which will continue to experience infrastructural deficits, even after land has been acquired:
Mahalaxmi, Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar (D ward): Will continue to have poor Educational, medical and social amenities like markets
Dadar, Prabhadevi, Shivaji Park (G North): Will remain poor with educational, medical, markets and open spaces infrastructure
Magathane, Dahisar, Eksar (R North ward): Will remain poor with educational, medical, open spaces, cemeteries infrastructure
Ghatkopar, parts of Vikhroli (N ward): Will remain poor with educational, medical, open spaces, cemeteries and markets