Several letters and consistent media reports later, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ admission of errors in Mumbai's development plan on Friday suggests the draft DP may be in for a major overhaul.
According to sources, the CM has two options – either to scrap the plan or make major amendments, after giving citizens more time to submit their feedback.
HT had reported on Friday that Fadnavis is inclined towards redrawing the plan, as he is wary of its repercussions. Confirming HT’s report, the CM on Friday said, “We are studying both the options. Both of them have legal implications, as we will have to amend the Maharashtra Region & Town Planning Act, 1966.”
Fadnavis said the expert panel will study all aspects. “I have asked them to consult the state advocate general over the issues and send recommendations within a fortnight.”
The CM said that if it fails to submit its report by April 24 – the deadline for the submission of feedback – the expert panel will clarify whether an extension for the deadline should be granted.
Urban planners and architects, who have been criticising the plan, are glad that the CM is open to scrapping it, if need be. Many argue there are so many mistakes in the plan, that they can’t be rectified within a short span.
Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said many in the party share activists’ view. “The plan is being associated with the BJP. There is an increasing feeling in the party is to dissociate from it and start afresh,” said a city BJP MLA.
Planners feel the problems with the DP are fundamental, and cannot be addressed by making a few amendments. For instance, the plan has failed to include nearly half the city’s population living in its slums. Similarly, while it has hiked the city’s floor space index (FSI), it has failed to link it to the amenities in the city.
Some feel tinkering with the plan at this stage may not be a good idea. Architect Nitin Killawala, who has objected to various provisions in the plan, said, “The legwork has been done and a mechanism has been established. What is the guarantee that redrawing the plan won’t make it worse?”