In a bid to avoid the chaos caused by demolition of shrines in the city, the ruling Shiv Sena has said that Mumbai needs to draw inspiration from Navi Mumbai.
Sena’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale has proposed that like Navi Mumbai, known for its planned development, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should allot spaces for religious structures in its revised development plan.
On March 3, the civic body issued a circular ordering the demolition of all shrines built after 1964 and were affecting road-widening projects.
Shewale said, “Navi Mumbai’s development plan has designated areas where shrines and centres for all religions will be built. This is what even our development plan should include.”
Mumbai’s development plan (DP) is currently up for revision. The civic body has appointed a consortium of Indo-French firms as the consultant to prepare the new DP.
The last one was implemented in 1994, and will be in effect till 2014.
“In our current DP, we have no designated reservations for places of religious interests. As a result, there has been haphazard development of shrines. Having reserved spaces might help put an end to this,” said Shewale.
A senior civic official from the DP department, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the proposal could be considered.
“The consultants are to prepare the current land-use plan, which will tell us if there is a possibility of us having such reservations.”
Meanwhile, the civic body has given caretakers of shrine 15 days to prove that the structures were built prior to 1964.
The civic body has listed 729 religious structures that will be demolished.