Mumbaiites, furious with the civic body’s caretaker policy that allows open spaces in the city to be given to private builders, have demanded that the chief minister repeal the policy.
The state government had stayed the policy in December 2007. The civic corporation recently decided to rework the policy to convince the state government to remove the stay.
On September 7, 2010, CitiSpace, a forum to protect open spaces in Mumbai, wrote to Ashok Chavan asking him to keep the general interests of the public in mind and disallow backdoor entry to commercialise and concretise the city’s much-needed open spaces.
Hindustan Times has been writing about the civic body’s open spaces policy. The objectionable caretaker clause aims to give away over 40 recreation grounds, each roughly the size of four Oval maidans, to private developers.
These would be developed as ‘members exclusive’ clubs and would not allow access to the public. This plan resulted in a huge public outcry, which led to the government slapping a stay on the policy back then.
Citispace, in its letter, points out the abysmal open spaces ratio of 0.03 acres per thousand persons in Mumbai, which, it says, is a lot less than the 4 acres per thousand ratio in the National Building Code.