Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from the western suburbs on Friday urged Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar to protect open spaces such as gardens, recreation areas and playgrounds.
Congress Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLAs raised the issue at a meeting Kumar organised at the Andheri (E) ward office.
Krishna Hegde, Congress MLA from Vile Parle, presented a 32-point memorandum on civic issues in his constituency that included protection and acquisition of open spaces.
Mumbai has only 0.03 acres of open space for every 1,000 residents, that is, each person has only 1.95 sq mt of open space against the international standard of at least 11 sq mt.
“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should acquire plots reserved for gardens, recreation grounds or playgrounds in the western suburbs,” said Hegde. “The BMC should take over such plots that developers are not handing back.” He cited examples of plots such as those on Service Road and Malviya Road in Vile Parle (E) that were not handed over to the BMC.
Subhash Desai, Shiv Sena MLA from Goregaon, said: “The BMC should keep such plots encroachment-free. It should post guards at the plots.” Congress MLA Baldeo Khosa demanded that a plot reserved for a recreation ground in his constituency should be handed over to a non-governmental organisation to maintain.
Kumar was not available for comment.
Though the BMC is set to acquire 113 reserved plots for road-widening, primary health centres and recreation grounds, no plot has been acquired since January 2005. The BMC has a budget of Rs 300 crore for acquiring the plots.
This amount must be utilised in the financial year 2011-2012. A Development Plan Department internal report revealed that the BMC has started the acquisition process of 51 reserved plots for public amenities but not a single one has been taken over yet. Of the 51 plots, 34 are for parks, gardens and playgrounds. The data is for the period January 2005 to December 2010.